HEALTH bosses say Flint Community Hospital could be replaced by a new health centre on the same site.

The hospital will not close until a new multi-purpose health centre is constructed next to the Old London Road site which has been described as the “sensible” location for any development.

Discussions on moving the project forward are set to take place in the new year.

Fears had grown over the future of the hospital but Health Minister Edwina Hart has pledged the hospital will not close until a replacement is built.

Michael Williams, chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “The minister informed me that the hospital will stay open until we have agreed on an alternative and started implementing that. It would be sensible to use the hospital site.”

The hospital, which is running at a 70 per cent capacity, has had as few as four patients on the 18-bed site at one time.

Neil Bradshaw, the health board’s director of planning, said: “In terms of service at Flint we would support the plan of co-locating services together in one location with primary and social care.”

The comments came during a Flintshire Council social and health care scrutiny meeting where top bosses from the health board gave a presentation to councillors.

Cllr Ted Evans, who represents Flint Trelawny ward, was at the meeting and said the health centre had first been discussed in 1998.

He said: “The people of Flint would welcome the centre at that site. We have been saying that for a long time.”

Last month Mary Burrows, chief executive the health board, said the cost of providing beds at the site was relatively high but utilisation was low.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesman said: “In the new year we will start discussions with GPs, local authority, the community health council and other partners on what services need to be developed to meet the future health requirements of people living in and around the Flint area and the facilities needed
to support these services.”