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Plans to downgrade maternity services in North Wales halted

Controversial plans to downgrade maternity services at hospitals in North Wales may be halted.

Maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd may not be downgraded. Credit: ITV Wales

NHS bosses at beleaguered trust Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have "gone back to the drawing board" to consider future plans for maternity services in north Wales according to the shadow health minister.

Ahead of what would have been a second hearing to consider the BMA’s application for a judicial review into the plans, NHS bosses in north Wales are now expected to announce a consultation.

It follows protests and a 15,000 signature petition to the Welsh Government earlier this year. The health board was put into special measures last month.

I’m glad that NHS chiefs have finally caved in, but it shouldn’t have taken the threat of judicial review for the Health Board to do the right thing.

If they’d made the right decision in the first place, then tremendous recent heartache for staff, mothers to be and their families could have been avoided.

I urge as many people as possible to have their say in this upcoming consultation.

– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Health Minister

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have been contacted for comment.

Ysbyty Glan Clwyd chosen for neonatal care unit

The Welsh Government has announced that a neonatal intensive care centre will be located at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Denbighshire.

The Bodelwyddan location for the sub-regional site to treat premature babies was chosen in preference to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Some premature babies will be looked after at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in North Wales.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he accepted the recommendation of an independent panel, which said that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd emerged as the best option for those living in the west of North Wales, and for those in the most deprived communities.

He said: "I recognise the challenges and risks the panel highlighted in its report, and these will need to be addressed by the health board before the development of the [neonatal site] can go ahead at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd."

The First Minister stepped in at the end of last year, to confirm that some newborn babies would continue to be cared for in North wales, although the sickest and most premature babies will still be transferred to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.


Three wards at Wrexham Maelor to remain closed

Wrexham Maelor Hospital has had an outbreak of norovirus. Credit: ITV News

Three wards at Wrexham Maelor Hospital which are closed following a high number of norovirus cases are not expected to reopen until after the weekend.

On Friday Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said 11 patients had shown symptoms over the previous two days.

Patients due to attend appointments and with symptoms are asked to telephone the ward for advice before visiting.

Anyone suffering from diarrhoea, vomiting or an upset stomach in the last 48 hours is asked not to visit the hospital.

Norovirus outbreak at Wrexham Maelor Hospital

Wrexham Maelor Hospital has suspended admission to three wards following an outbreak of norovirus.

It comes after 11 patients showed symptoms in the last 48 hours.

Health bosses say parents should not bring young children onto the wards at Wrexham Maelor.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says it has put in place extra measures to tackle the outbreak.

Patients die of C difficile infection in North Wales

Seven patients who suffered from the C difficile infection in North Wales have died, during September and October.

There were 47 cases reported in October:

  • 4 at Wrexham
  • 12 at Glan Clwyd
  • 11 at Ysbyty Gwynedd
  • 20 at non-acute sites

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board say they're working with Public Health Wales to understand all of the issues surrounding infection control and any issues that need addressing.


Man died minutes after being discharged from hospital

A coroner has called for further inquiries after a man was discharged from hospital in Wrexham, but then died minutes later.

Ian Diamond, who was 62 and from Dolgellau, had lung cancer.

Opening an inquest today, coroner John Gittins said Mr Diamond had been admitted to the accident and emergency department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital on 6 September, after coughing up blood.

Ian Diamond died minutes after being discharged from Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

After a check-up, he was told he was fit to go home, but only got as far as the cafe before coughing up more blood.

He was rushed back to the A&E department but died soon afterwards.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died of pulmonary haemorrhage, but the coroner said further investigations were required, as it was his duty to try to prevent future deaths.

North Wales health board: Low risk of transmission

The worker infected with Hepatitis C worked in the obstetric and gynaecology units at what was then Maelor General Hospital.

North Wales' health board says the healthcare professional infected with Hepatitis C worked briefly at Wrexham Maelor Hospital (known then as the Maelor General Hospital) in May and June 1978.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says the risk of passing on the virus during a healthcare procedure is low, and could only happen if the worker suffered an injury causing them to bleed while treating the patient.

It says it has been reviewing its records, and obstetric and gynaecology patients from that time have been offered advice a blood test as a precautionary measure. Specialist clinic sessions will be held at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Andrew Jones, Director of Public Health for the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “I know that this news will cause some concern for patients who were seen in Wrexham at around that time. However I want to stress that the risk of transmission is low."

"Even so, it is important that we contact patients who were treated by this person and offer them support and the opportunity of a blood test. This will allow us to give reassurance that all is well or, if we do identify a person who is carrying the virus, ensure they get advice and treatment."

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