Denial of cuts in hospital hours greeted with relief

Published date: 11 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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POLITICIANS have spoken of their relief that a community hospital is not planning to cut its hours.

Instead, a leading councillor has vowed to ‘keep an eye’ on health services.

Flintshire councillor for Holywell, Peter Curtis, said he was happy with communications from Holywell Hospital and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) denying rumours of cuts to services.

Last month Cllr Curtis was among those who said they feared for the future of the minor injuries unit at the community hospital after it was announced BCUHB was reviewing services there.

Delyn AM Sandy Mewies also contacted the health board with concerns.

But in a letter to Mrs Mewies, BCUHB chairman Dr Peter Higson informed her there were no plans to reduce hours at the hospital.

“I can assure you opening hours are not changing at Holywell Hospital,” he wrote, “and there are no proposals to reduce the hours.

“I trust this provides reassurance that the minor injury hours are not changing and we remain committed to providing this service in Holywell.”

Mrs Mewies said she was pleased to receive the assurance the hours would continue to open from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

“It appears concerns may have arisen because of a review of which departments provide specific services to best meet patients needs. This may have led to a misunderstanding,” she said.

Cllr Curtis said Dr Higson’s letter confirmed what he had been told in a letter from the hospital.

“I’m pretty well reassured,” he said.

Cllr Curtis said a new appointment system was being introduced to better direct people to the most appropriate services.

“Currently, some patients such as those needing a dressing changed are advised to call into the minor injuries unit,” he said.

“However, this can result in people having to wait to be seen and can also cause delays for patients with injuries.”

He said the minor injuries unit was therefore looking to provide a booked clinic for services such as the changing of dressings.

“It should help to avoid the need for patients to wait to be seen and enable more efficient use of staff time.”

But Cllr Curtis said while he was ‘satisfied’ with the assurances given, he did not ‘take anything at face value’.

“We’re happy they responded and gave the reassurance,” he said.“However, we’ll keep an eye out – not just on that one issue but on the whole issue of health care.

It’s something we should be doing anyway, across the whole of Flintshire.”

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