IT IS still not known when a hospital ward that suddenly closed can open its doors again.
The Gladstone Ward at Deeside Hospital was temporarily closed earlier this month, reducing the number of available beds at the hospital from 52 to 24.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) said staffing pressures led to the closure, caused in part by restrictions on staff duties while an ongoing investigation into standards of care was carried out.
The health board said during the ward closure, the opportunity was being taken to renew the flooring and carry out other necessary refurbishment work which could not be carried out while the area was in use.
But asked yesterday, the board was still unable to put a date on when the ward would reopen.
A spokesman said: “Every effort is being made to recruit extra staff.
“The ward will reopen as soon as we have sufficient staff to ensure that all shifts can be covered safely across both wards.”
A number of community leaders have raised concerns about the closure over the past month, and Cllr Carol Ellis, chairman of Flintshire Council’s social and health care overview and scrutiny committee said staff had told her it might not reopen until after Easter.
Buckley councillor Dennis Hutchinson also expressed concern. He said: “It is going to have a massive effect on people from the Deeside area – this is very much the thin edge of the wedge.”