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Health board announce decision on future of health care in North Wales

Flint Community Hospital is facing the axe.

FLINT Community Hospital is to close in its present form but outpatient services will continue to be provided at the site for the time being, health board chiefs have decided.

The minor injury unit at Mold Community Hospital – which was earmarked for closure – has received an eleventh hour reprieve.
The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board made the decision  at a meeting in St Asaph this morning as it looks to make around £65 million worth of savings.
The health board has decided to push ahead with the controversial proposals for Flint despite huge opposition from campaign groups in the town.
The minor injuries and inpatient beds in Flint will be lost and services will be  provided from Holywell Hospital.

In a statement issued after today's meeting, BCUHB says all other services, including phlebotomy, will continue to be provided at Flint on an interim basis but only "until the proposed primary care resource centre has been developed in the town".

A report containing recommendations to the board states: “The provision of  more care at home, a new primary care facility that will allow the expansion of primary care and community based services and access to inpatient care in a modern facility in Holywell is felt to provide a sustainable package of services best able to meet the needs of the wider community into the future.”
The board hopes to put together a formal business case for  the provision of a primary care resource centre in Flint which will be submitted to the Welsh Government – if plans are approved this will replace the GP surgeries, clinic and hospital buildings in the town.
It is expected that the enhanced care at home service will be established in north west Flintshire by the end of May.
In Mold the community hospital will now become a ‘hub’ and will retain its minor injury unit but there will be a reduction in the number of X-Ray services offered.
The report states: “We would recommend that Mold Community Hospital is designated as a hospital hub for South Flintshire. There is a case that Mold is a focal point for the area based on the population of the town and surrounding areas which is strengthened by the high level of use of the hospital services. We accept that many transport routes converge on Mold. This would also support greater access for communities of the rural area towards Ruthin.”
It had been expected that Deeside Hospital would become a ‘hub’ but alternative proposals were put forward during consultation which instead suggested Mold becomes a hub hospital.
This means that for the time being the board will be unable to develop an additional minor injuries unit as Deeside Hospital – however it will continue to be ‘a focal point for local services’. Current services provided at Deeside Hospital will be maintained.
For a full report and reaction to the decisions see next week’s Flintshire Chronicle.