Flintshire hospital’s injury unit set to reopen this weekend

Reporter:

Helen Davies

A COMMUNITY hospital’s minor injury unit is set to reopen this weekend after being closed for a month due to staff shortages.

Furious community leaders voiced their anger earlier this month when the unit at Flint Community Hospital was temporarily closed after staff sickness at the site and at Holywell Community Hospital.

Patients, who used the local community hospital, had to travel to Holywell for treatment during the closure because Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board decided to use Flint-based staff to keep the Holywell unit open.

Flint councillors met with bosses at the health board last week to discuss their concerns over the temporary closure and have now been told the Flint unit will be open again from Sunday.

Flint councillor Ian Roberts said: “Flint Town Council was very pleased to have this news and I think they were grateful to Betsi Cadwaladr for restoring the service to us and we are thankful to Mary Burrows as chief executive for arranging a meeting so quickly.

“I would urge the people of Flint to use the minor injury service there, it’s a top class facility on our doorstep. I’m sure those who had to travel while it was closed will realise how convenient it is.”

Fellow Flint cllr Alex Aldridge said his anger over the closure was due to the lack of communication from the health board.

He said: “It was a very positive outcome, Mary Burrows and Geoff Lang (director of primary care at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board) gave us a full apology.

“Mary Burrows said they couldn’t be sure this closure wouldn’t happen again but if it did they would inform us.”

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.

But following his meeting with Mrs Burrows, Cllr Aldridge is more confident for the future of health care in the town.

He said: “She said we would be called in at an early stage to begin talks about any options for the people of Flint.”

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.

See full story in the Leader

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