Buckley council's challenge to health board boss

Published date: 24 April 2014 |
Published by: Robert Doman 
Read more articles by Robert Doman  Email reporter


THE chief executive of a health board has been challenged to look councillors in the eye over health services in a town.

Buckley Town Council has slammed the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) over a perceived “dripping away” of health services from the town.

Podiatry and skin specialist services have been removed from the town in the last two years, while prolonged delays to the town’s new £6 million health centre – which has been more than 12 years in the making and is now being built – have increased community frustration.

At a meeting of Buckley Town Council Cllr Richard Jones voiced concerns at a lack of communication from BCUHB with regards to the services being moved out of the town.

“Services are slowly dripping away from Buckley,” he said.

“We need to register them so we know what we have got. This will let us know when something else goes from the town without us being notified.”

Cllr Dennis Hutchinson called on BCUHB acting chief executive Geoff Lang to explain the loss of services.

“Let him come here and explain the situation, if he has got the guts to do so,” he said.

Previously a spokesman for the health board said the temporary relocation of the podiatry service – which moved to Mold before Christmas – was because the practice area in Buckley was “unfit for carrying out the service”, saying patients were told about the move by telephone.

Councillors have also expressed their concerns at the level of care and a temporary ward closure at Deeside Community Hospital.

Members called for BCUHB to treat the town council with a little more respect, after delays in correspondence from the board.

After BCUHB failed to respond to a letter sent on February 26 expressing the council’s concerns, members wrote again on March 26 and finally received acknowledgement on April 1.

Mr Lang addressed the issues in a letter sent to the council on April 4.

He said: “I would like to assure you that the provision of health services for the residents of Buckley remains an equal priority for the board as provision to any other area of North Wales.

“The locality team for South Flintshire, which includes Buckley, would welcome any dialogue about the well-being needs of the local population and ask that people bring their concerns about local services to the locality team.”

However, councillors  are to invite Mr Lang to one of their forthcoming meetings to discuss matters face to face.

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