ANGRY protesters descended on Flint’s shut down community hospital last night to stage a demonstration against health service plans for the town.
Protesters gathered to call for the health board to reinstate the town with its beds and minor injuries services.
During what they called ‘a day of action’, the Flint Hospital Campaign Group rallied with residents in the town before descending to the fenced-off entrance of the closed hospital.
Campaigners pinned up messages on the gates calling for the return of the hospital services to the town.
Flint Community Hospital Group chairman Mike Evans says they are ‘determined’ to get the facility reopened.
After campaigners pinned messages to the fencing blocking the entrance, Mr Evans said it will now be a ‘living message board’ for residents to voice their opinions.
He said: “The health board have inflicted an open wound on Flint.
“We are determined to get this facility back open. They say they have got £4.5million for the new primary resource centre, well they have got the bones of a perfectly good facility here.”
Mr Evans said the group will stage another mass protest before Christmas – which will see a repeat of the campaign march through Flint 12 months ago whcih saw hundreds of opposers turn out.
Sandra Williams said: “This protest speaks for itself. Our anger will not go away it will just get greater.
“We need hospital beds in the town and we need to get them back.”
Another protester Kathy Kitney called on Welsh Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM to visit Flint in person and ‘face the people of Flint’.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said there is a service in Flint where patients are provided care in their own home, which saves them travelling to access services.
It also said anyone who requires a hospital bed or minor injuries treatment, that both services are available in Holywell.
A health board spokesman said: “The enhanced care at home service is now running in the Flint area, providing early support for people in their own homes.
“This means more patients are getting the care they require at home without any need to travel or be admitted to a hospital, and has been well-received by those who have experienced the service.”
Residents, who wish to contribute to the discussions on the plans for the new Primary Care Resource Centre earmarked for Flint are being encouraged to attend a stakeholder workshop in November.
A BCUHB health board spokesman added: “It is important to recognise the purpose of these sessions is to inform the plans for the new facility and not to revisit decisions that have already been made by the health board on community hospital services across North Wales.”