Posted: Wed 17th Jun 2020

Flintshire Council leader’s tour of Deeside field hospital brought home seriousness of coronavirus crisis

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2020

The leader of Flintshire Council has opened up about the moment when the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis really struck him.

Cllr Ian Roberts was being shown around a new temporary set up at Deeside Leisure Centre in Queensferry to care for COVID-19 patients at the time.

During his tour of Rainbow Hospital Deeside, also known as Ysbyty Enfys Glannau Dyfrdwy, the Labour leader went into the mortuary and said he had to leave almost immediately after being hit by the gravity of the situation .

While the use of the facility has not been needed so far, Flintshire has witnessed the highest number of deaths in north Wales during the pandemic according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

Cllr Roberts admitted there had been difficult times, but also took the opportunity to thank people across the county for their efforts.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting held this week via the Zoom video conferencing platform, he said: “There have been some particularly bad days when some of the issues about projected mortality rates were discussed.

“One of the moments I found particularly difficult was being shown round the Rainbow Hospital at Deeside Leisure Centre and being shown the temporary mortuary at the back of the building.
“No words can express it. When I walked in, I looked at it and I had to walk out.

“It was the realisation that that’s what it was about really.”

During the virtual meeting, members of the ruling administration paid tribute to a long list of workers, from NHS and care home staff to postal and shop workers.

They also gave thanks to the council’s own employees, including bin collectors and school staff.

Cllr Roberts added: “I would also like to add grateful thanks to the people of Flintshire in general, who have been amazingly supportive of the restrictions that have taken place and supported the requirements.

“We know we’re in more difficult waters now as restrictions are easing across the border and they’re not here.

“We know there are pressures as our young people wants to go on their play areas and people want to use certain car parks, but if we can continue with our softly, softly approach on this then hopefully we will get there in the end.”

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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