Carwyn Jones has announced that the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will review whether North Wales can eventually become 'fully self sufficient' in the delivery of specialised neonatal services.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has been telling AMs why he has asked experts in neonatal care to advise him on whether North Wales could have a 'fully self sufficient' service of its own. But the Welsh Liberal Democrats claim that the review is being sabotaged.
North Wales AM Aled Roberts said Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board wants to transfer facilities from Wrexham Maelor Hospital, though Welsh Government sources say that won't be allowed to happen whilst the review is taking place.
And the Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar, said that instead of an end to uncertainty, it was 'yet another review and a further delay' in decision making by the First Minister.
Carwyn Jones took responsibility for the decision because his previous health minister, Lesley Griffiths, is AM for Wrexham and had a potential conflict of interest over services at her local hospital.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced that the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will review whether North Wales can eventually become 'fully self sufficient' in the delivery of specialised neonatal services. At present the sickest babies are treated in England.
Mr Jones had already said that plans for a formal arrangement with Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral must go ahead as an interim solution but he was asked if proposals to move other neonatal care from Wrexham to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd could be delayed so that options for the future were left open.
Will you say to Betsi [Cadwaladr University Health Board] can they put their ... plans on hold until the report and the decision has been made?
– Antoinette Sandbach
I will give thought to that ... I can see that ... any change in neonatal provision may have an affect on the review.
– Carwyn Jones, First Minister
A Welsh Government source has since confirmed that nothing affecting neonatal care in Wrexham, Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor should change until the outcome of the review is known. The First Minister expects to receive the report in September.
The time has come for Carwyn Jones to end the uncertainty and commit to the retention of long-term neonatal care in North Wales.
The health board has ridden roughshod over the views of local communities and the expert opinions of clinicians have thus far been ignored.
North Wales' baby care services have been left hanging in the balance for far too long and I urge the First Minister to make a swift decision to scrap the Health Board's plans and get behind services in North Wales.
Axing long-term neonatal intensive care in North Wales must not be allowed to go ahead.
The First Minister is due to make a statement today on the future of neonatal care in north Wales.
In March Carwyn Jones AM announced that he would personally decide whether to call in the controversial plans by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board to move neonatal services out of north Wales and into Arrowe Park on the Wirral.