Ann to take maternity services fight to Senedd Chamber

Labour’s AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones will this week continue to fight to save consultant led maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Ms Jones has tabled a question to the First Minister and will press him on why the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board has made little progress on advancing the new Sub Regional Neonatal Care Centre (SuRNICC) which the Welsh Government has said must be sited at Glan Clwyd.

The following day (4th March), during Questions to the Minister for Health, she will strongly criticise the Health Board for its “opaque” decision making.

Speaking in advance, Ms Jones said: “The decision to downgrade services was made with no warning to staff, patients or the wider public. Previously, the Health Board has been heavily criticised for using smoke and mirror tactics which led to removal of both the previous Chair and Chief Executive. The people of North Wales were promised urgent and permanent changes to these practices. It appears that the new Chief Executive, Mr Purt, has not honoured this pledge.

“I will urge the Health Minister to look into how the Board operates and will ask him to intervene where governance arrangements fall below the standard that public services should operate under. I am convinced that the Board’s recommendation to downgrade maternity services at Glan Clwyd does not stand up to scrutiny and will lead to a widening gap of health inequalities.

“I was delighted last year when the First Minister confirmed Glan Clwyd would be home to the new Neonatal centre. This landmark decision came after an independent expert review recommended that siting the new unit at Glan Clwyd was the best clinical option for North Wales.

“The Board has done little, if nothing, to take this forward and their decision to downgrade services makes it appear to me that they are not fully committed to the SuRNICC being based at Glan Clwyd. I will press the First Minister to investigate and if the Board seems unwilling to establish the new Centre at Glan Clwyd, I will ask the First Minister to instruct his officials to ensure that his decision is complied with”.