The Community Health Council (CHC) for Gwynedd has defended its decision not to refer plans to move neonatal care in north Wales to a hospital in England. Hilary Scott's comments came at a public meeting of the patient's group in Bangor on Thursday night. The vice chair of the council said that they understood it would not be possible to create a unit to treat premature babies in north Wales to the national standards required.
The meeting was held to respond to criticism of the CHC's response to the health boards proposals for changing services in Gwynedd.
Her comments came after NHS Wales' Medical Director told AMs that the situation in recruiting staff in north Wales was so bad that it was no longer sensible to advertise jobs "when you know you won't get any applicants."
The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board proposals would see services transferred from three hospitals in north Wales to Arrowe Park on the Wirral.
Campaigners fighting the plans have warned that plans to treat babies more than 16-weeks premature at a single intensive care neonatal service at Arrowe Park, on the Wirral, would leave relatives with too far to travel.
Earlier in the week the First Minister announced that he would personally decide whether to call in the controversial plans.
He said he would take personal responsibility because the Health Minister Lesley Griffiths's Wrexham constituency would be directly affected by the plans.
Whilst making the decision to not intervene in neonatal services, the CHC decided to refer changes to minor injuries and x-ray services and for services for older people who have mental health problems in Gwynedd to the Health Minister.