Flintshire hospital unit’s temporary closure provokes anger among residents

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A COMMUNITY hospital’s busy minor injury unit is on course to re-open next month after staffing problems.

The unit at Flint Community Hospital was temporarily closed for four weeks after staff sickness at the site and at Holywell Community Hospital.

Furious community leaders in Flint voiced their anger over the decision of Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board to use Flint-based staff to keep the Holywell unit open and believe the logistics of sending Flint residents to Holywell had not been thought through.

Cllr David Cox, mayor of Flint, said: “We have had phone calls from unhappy people asking why Flint has been picked on. People have asked if volunteers could have been taken from other hospitals to cover the shortages so the unit at Flint could have stayed open.”

Fears have been raised over the long-term future of the hospital despite health chiefs saying there are no plans to close the 16-bed hospital, which includes an outpatient clinic. The dressing clinic at the hospital on Old London Road is also closed.

Between April 2010 and March, Holywell’s minor injury unit treated 5,863 patients. At Flint 1,819 were treated.

A health board spokesman said Holywell had a higher number of patients so the decision was taken to redeploy available staff from Flint.

He added: “We are aiming to return services to normal as soon as is safe to do so, and to reopen the minor injuries unit at Flint on Saturday, July 2.”

Those needing medical attention in the Flint area can contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47, contact their GP during normal hours or the GP out of hours service on 0300 123 55 66, attend the Minor Injuries Unit at Holywell, Mold or Deeside or in an emergency dial 999.

See full story in the Leader

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