Thursday, November 16, 2006

Holywell Hospital

The petition calling for Holywell Hospital to remain open until the new hospital is built was presented to North East Wales Health Trust. Meeting with chief executive Ms Hilary Kepler and Head of Planning Neil Bradshaw this week I was staggered to learn that prior to the launch of the petition the North East Wales Health Trust had not received any representations from Flintshire County Council officials or representatives calling for the inpatient facilities to remain opem until the new facilities were built. The chief executive Hilary Kepler told her that “Officials from Flintshire County Council were fully aware of the plans to move in patient facilities and the minor injuries unit to Lluesty. We have not received any objections”. Neil Bradshaw and Ms Kepler also confirmed at the meeting that no one had raised the lack of bus facilities to the Lluesty site and the problems this would cause Holywell residents, and those from further afield who did not have access to cars.

Holywell is loosing the inpatient facility at the heart of the community and easily accessible by locals – without anyone raising the concerns of the many people in Holywell who want to see the new site completed before the Cottage hospital in patients and minor injuries unit is closed and its facilities moved to Lluesty. It is a betrayal of the people of Holywell who have supported the Cottage Hospital for so many years that the closure of in patient facilities has been hidden from them. Local residents, who fear any delays in the building works may mean it is years before the new hospital is built

This is going to cause major disruption to staff and patients as well as costing £50,000 to prepare the ward in Lluesty. I am concerned that these plans have been pushed forward in order that the site can be sold. Labour policies appear to be designed to turn hospitals into residential building sites. Flint Cottage hospital is also threatend with closure. Labour policies are seeing bureaucrats rising at three times the rate of new doctors and nurses. Debts increasing and yet bed cuts. Whilst I welcome the new hospital for Holywell it is clear that if Flint Cottage hospital closes there will be a loss of beds overall in Flintshire a position which is being repeated the length and breadth of the UK.