ACTION group members are vowing to fight all the way to save a community hospital.
The Save Flint Cottage Hospital group was formed at a packed public meeting at Flint Town Hall last night.
In recent days residents of Flint have rallied in protest at the prospect of the hospital’s closure, after successfully fighting to keep the facility open several years ago when it also faced the axe.
The group’s first committee was elected with inaugural chairman Jack Reece pledging to battle against the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) proposal.
“We have got to fight on and fight on,” said Mr Reece, whose mother and grandfather were cared for at the hospital in their dying days.
“In the words of Winston Churchill ‘we shall never surrender’.”
Mr Reece told the meeting there was a demand for the hospital to be preserved in Flint.
Dozens of residents who attended the meeting backed calls for the group to converge on the National Assembly of Wales in Cardiff to show the level of concern and need for the facility to remain in the town.
North Wales Conservative AM Mark Isherwood said he would welcome protesters travelling to Cardiff but recommended they work with similar groups across the region to demonstrate how many people were opposed to the changes in North Wales.
Oakenholt Independent councillor Rita Johnson, who was one of several councillors present, said she would stand on any protest line and urged the fight to continue.
A letter she had written to Mary Burrows, BCHUB chief executive, was distributed at the meeting.
Of the proposed changes she said: “To say I am disappointed is an understatement. It is, I believe, a massive step backwards for the people of Flint.”
Flint Coleshill Labour councillor David Cox said it was the second time in about six years the community had needed to work together to keep the hospital open, having successfully won a previous battle.
“We as a council will stand up and fight for the hospital we fought before,” he told the meeting.
“There will be no hidden agenda. We will not hide anything from the people of this town.”
The hospital on Cornist Road features a Minor Injuries Unit, 10 beds, phlebotomy services and a facility for the terminally ill to spend their final days.
But its future is under threat, with BCHUB under pressure to make savings of £64.6 million in this financial year.