No final decision on Flintshire x-ray services


Owen Evans

NO final decision has been made on changes to X-ray provisions at two hospitals, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said.

Argoed councillor Hilary McGuill raised concerns that changes were about to be made to the number of X-ray sessions offered at Mold Community Hospital and Deeside Community Hospital.

But BCUHB said no decisions had yet been made.

Cllr McGuill said she had been told that the number of sessions at Mold Community Hospital was going to be increased from six sessions to eight sessions a week, while sessions at Deeside Hospital were to be reduced from eight sessions to six a week.

The councillor said this would mark an overall reduction in the number of sessions offered in Flintshire compared with how many were offered before Mold Hospital closed the X-ray department for a number of months to install a new machine.

She said there were previously 10 sessions per week at Mold and eight in Deeside.

A BCUHB spokesman said: “We are working closely with the community health council, looking at the pattern of X-ray provision at both Deeside and Mold community hospitals.

“We all want to make the best use of the resources available so that we can meet the needs of patients in the local areas.

“Feedback from patients and staff is also being closely monitored to make sure we get the balance right.

“No final decisions have yet been made.”

Cllr McGuill said she had been told by representatives from Mold Community Hospital that plans were in place to change the number of sessions.

The X-ray service at Mold Hospital was saved after campaigners raised more than £100,000 for a new machine.

Following more than a year of relentless fundraising, an X-ray machine was installed at the hospital after campaigners raised more than £120,000. The fundraising drive came after a healthcare review in 2012 in which Mold Community Hospital was picked out as one of the possible sites to be downgraded.

Like others within the BCUHB area, Mold’s Minor Injuries Unit and the X-ray facilities were earmarked for removal.

The decision caused anger and protest and the League of Friends pledged to raise enough money for the machine, which has played a major part in retaining health services for the town.

The health board’s decision to reverse the downgrading of Mold Hospital was conditional on funds being raised for the X-ray machine.

Several councillors have expressed their concern in the past that a full-time X-ray service is not yet being offered at the hospital.

The machine is currently being used for just 22.5 hours a week.

An email from a senior staff member at Mold Community Hospital, seen by the Leader, also showed at least 50 people were waiting for X-ray appointments for the hospital’s new machine.

The email outlining demand for the service came after BCUHB staff told a Flintshire Council meeting they needed to wait to build up a backlog of demand before the X-ray machine could be used full time.

See full story in the Leader

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