AMs join forces

A cross-party group of Assembly Members has united in a last-ditch attempt to save local health services in North Wales.

The four AMs, representing Labour, Plaid Cymru, Conservative and Liberal Democrats, have urged the local Community Health Council to refer the moving of neonatal services out of the region to health minister Lesley Griffiths.

Llyr Gruffydd, Ann Jones, Darren Millar and Aled Roberts have joined forces to try to halt proposals by Betsi Cadwaladr health board to stop providing Level 3 neonatal care in North Wales and move the most seriously ill newborn to Arrowe Park on the Wirral.

In their joint letter to Lesley Griffiths they question the quality and sustainability of neonatal services at Arrowe Park, which does not currently meet national guidelines. Their views have been echoed by the board’s own clinical reference group as well as the BMA, Royal College of Nursing and Royal College of Midwifery.

They conclude their letter to the health minister by urging intervention:

“We are concerned that Health Board members have failed to give proper consideration to all of these issues prior to making their decision and would request your urgent intervention to prevent any changes in neonatal care from being implemented until such time as you are able to undertake your own assessment of the available evidence.”

The four have also written to the Community Health Council urging the watchdog to formally object to the health board’s findings.