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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

North Wales neonatal care review decision overturned

A decision to transfer specialist care for some of sickest and most premature babies in north Wales to England has been overturned by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones.
For full story see the BBC News website at

* Responding to the First Minister’s statement on neonatal services in North Wales, Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, commented:
“I had hoped for a better response from the First Minister today.
“The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s report into neo-natal services identified models which could provide all levels of neonatal services exclusively in North Wales.  This was their preferred long-term option.  I am disappointed the First Minister will not be taking these proposals forward, instead focussing on short-term solutions.
“The fact is that patients in North Wales are now paying the price for a complete lack of investment from the Welsh Labour Government over recent years.  Things should never have been allowed to get this bad.
“Bearing in mind the significant failings of the Health Board during this whole process, I have serious concerns about its ability to plan strategically for these new proposed changes.
“I am also concerned that managers at Arrowe Park had admitted that, apart from initial contractual discussions, that they had not been invited to engage with the North Wales clinicians or community.  Communication will be key if these major proposals are to become a reality.
“The First Minister has said that he expects the Health Board to “act quickly” to assess implications, and the BCUHB has been given until the end of the month to clarify Governance arrangements around the transfer of babies to Arrowe Park. However, given the past history within BCUHB, we need to be told how the First Minister will monitor the situation and what will happen if the clarification isn’t received.  There are still far more questions than answers to the challenges facing neonatal care in North Wales.”

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