ANGRY campaigners want voters to come out in their droves to take part in a referendum over hospital beds as health board officials say efforts to modernise services are gathering pace.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s (BCUHB) programme of modernising health services in Flint has caused huge controversy with last year’s closure of the town’s community hospital resulting in the loss of beds.

Last month more than 750 people voted for a referendum on the issue, and the community us expected to vote again in huge numbers on Thursday.

Campaigners have printed more than 10,000 leaflets which have been distributed to every home in the town and they have been advertising the event in the town centre and on social media.

Meanwhile, BCUHB says the modern purpose-built health centre being developed in Flint will meet all the community’s needs.

Campaign spokesman Mike Evans said: “We were overwhelmed by the level of support and concern shown by the community at the special public meeting, two years on from the announcement of the health board’s plans.

“This, for us, was vindication for continuing the fight against the plans that were implemented by a broken health board that was no longer fit for purpose.

“This is a unique and special opportunity for the people of Flint to make history and register their opinions on how the health board delivers its services locally.

“I urge everybody who can vote to vote.”

Mr Evans revealed town businesses have come forward offering minibuses to help transport those with limited mobility to the polling booths.

BCUHB confirmed it is working with the community to create a modernpurpose-built health centre to provide a focal point in the town to meet all the health needs of the local community under one roof.

The £5 million facility will replace the GP surgeries and Borough Grove Clinic.

BCUHB chief executive Professor Trevor Purt said: “We are delighted to be responding to the GPs’ calls for new modern facilities and working with professionals from different agencies to jointly deliver better care, with more co-ordination, better communication and greater consistency for the people of Flint.”

But Mr Evans added: “We have worked with the health board to help shape the new medical centre within the town and there are other opportunities that are being explored with them to compliment other services.

“However, there is still the gap between the community and the health board over the issue of in-patient beds.

“In order to move that issue forward we have called this historic referendum.”

The vote takes place between 4pm and 9pm. No polling card is required.

Flintshire Council has added a special section to its website containing links showing a street index linked to respective polling stations at en/Resident/Elections-and-Electoral-Registration/Flint-Community-Poll.aspx
Votes will be counted at Flint Town Hall.