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Monday, November 19, 2012

Minister will have final say on health shake-up

* Elin Jones AM.  
Campaigners battling to preserve local health services in Llangollen have welcomed an exchange between Plaid Cymru and Health Minister Lesley Griffiths in the Welsh Assembly.

Plaid’s health spokesperson Elin Jones said to Ms Griffiths:  “Minister, it is important to have a national medical perspective to help plan hospital service configuration

“However, the independence, transparency and integrity of the national clinical forum are important.
“It needs to be independent of the Government and the interests of individual health boards. 
“Despite events surrounding the possibility of rewriting specific documents, do you agree that there is now a clear divergence emerging between the medical opinion of the national clinical forum, which wants to reduce the number of large general hospitals, and the medical opinion at a local health board level, especially in Hywel Dda Local Health Board and Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board, which want to keep a lot of what they already have, much to the pleasant surprise of some of us?
“Given this divergence of medical opinion, locally and nationally, do you now accept that, ultimately, decisions on hospital configuration will have to be taken by you?”
Ms Griffiths (pictured right) replied:When we started out on this process, I always knew that a part of it would end up on my desk. That is obvious.
“I also knew that there would be a divergence in opinion.
“I also know that there are many vested interests as we go through this process.  I will come in right at the end, when we have those definitive reports.”
A spokesman for the local health service campaigners described the Senedd exchange as “good news”.


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