North East Wales

£4.5m health care shake-up angers Flint Hospital campaigners

Flint Hospital before its closure
Image caption Campaigners want services reinstated following the closure of Flint Hospital

Campaigners want hospital managers to rethink plans for a £4.5m shake-up of healthcare in a Flintshire town.

About 100 people attended a meeting in Flint to discuss plans for single-site facility for GPs, clinics and other health and welfare services.

They want facilities reinstated following the closure of the town hospital with the loss of ward beds and a minor injuries unit.

The local health board said its plans offered an "exciting opportunity".

But Flint Hospital Campaign Group accused officials at the meeting of not listening to people's views.

'Strong feelings'

Chairman Mike Evans said members were now considering putting forward a candidate to stand at the next Welsh assembly election in 2016 if people's concerns are not addressed.

"None of us what to become politicians," he said. "We have made great effort to be apolitical. But patients' voices - voters - have not been heard."

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board pledged to consider residents' views following the meeting on Wednesday.

Project director Robin Wiggs said: "We really do understand and appreciate the strong feelings that have been expressed about the closure of the old hospital.

"However we have an exciting opportunity to develop a range of more integrated services that should mean people get much more of the primary and community healthcare they need locally in the town."

He explained that an "enhanced care at home service" started last month in Flint following the closure of the community's hospital and its ward beds.

"By investing in this early support and treatment we can help people to stay healthier and prevent minor illness from developing into something more serious, so many people don't get to a point where they need to go into hospital," he said.

The health board's plans for the hospital are on display in Flint Library throughout September.

A funding case will be submitted to the Welsh government in early 2014 and it expected that a new facility could be open by early 2016.

The health board is looking for a site for the new facilities and the former hospital is still being considered as a possible location.

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