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Campaigners call for rethink on baby unit axe proposals

Published date: 16 January 2013 |
Published by: Matt Jones
Read more articles by Matt Jones


 

CAMPAIGNERS have urged health bosses to ditch proposals to cut services at the special care baby unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital ahead of a crunch meeting.

On Friday, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board could finally make a decision to axe longer-term intensive care with patients sent to Arrowe Park on the Wirral.

The Cuddles charity, which supports the unit in Bodelwyddan, launched a petition against the proposed shake-up.

Secretary John Hewitt, 40, of Llanfair TH, whose baby Moli was born two months early at the unit in 2011, said the intensive care unit was essential.

He said: “To close this will be a blow to families and tiny babies from North Wales and is detrimental.”

The Health Board, which is under pressure to make savings of £64.6 million in this financial year, said the hospital would continue to provide initial stabilisation, immediate short-term intensive care as well as Special Care Baby Units and high dependency units.

Mr Hewitt, said: “I would urge the Health Board to dispense with these plans.

“They do not make sense.

“The staff at Glan Clwyd say they have not been consulted and they are afraid to speak out, that is what they have told us.”

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM said: “From the community meetings and the views expressed in communications to my office, it is clear that there is strong local opposition to the proposals to relocate longer-term neonatal intensive care services from North Wales to Arrowe Park Hospital in the north west of England.”

A spokesman for the Health Board, which staged a consultation over the plans between August and October last year, said: “The board has been giving full consideration to the feedback from the consultation.

“The Board will consider the consultation feedback from all sources, alongside the other relevant evidence and information.

“If the Board is satisfied that it is able to make a decision it will do so, and will also consider implementation timescales.

“If a final decision is made there would not be a further consultation.

“The Community Health Council may still choose to ask the Minister to consider the matter after the Board meeting if they are not able to support the decisions in full.”

The meeting starts at 10am at the Optic Centre, St Asaph Business Park.

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