Ann Jones AM “deeply disappointed” by health board

Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones is “deeply disappointed” by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s decision, following a“hard fought battle”.

The health board’s decision was announced today (Friday 18th January) at the Optic Centre in St Asaph, which Ann Jones attended.

In response, Ann Jones said:

“The meeting of the board today was, in my view, little more than an exercise to rubber stamp the plans, it merely played lip service to scrutiny as the proposals were passed unanimously with few searching questions asked.

“I am deeply disappointed by the health board’s decision, to transfer the specialist neo-natal care unit from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in my constituency to England, following what has been a hard fought battle to save the unit.

“In my robust consultation response I said that moving the unit to Arrowe Park on the Wirral is the wrong option. This remains my view. Strong and overwhelming opposition from a coalition of concerned constituents, campaign groups and clinicians – all of whom I’ve worked with throughout – have, unfortunately, been ignored by the health board.

“Constituents who attended the public meeting I chaired in Prestatyn made clear their opposition to the closing of Chatsworth, a vital community based facility, this was the view I put forward in my consultation response. Many residents will rightly be concerned at the health board’s decision.

“The announcement of a new facility in Rhyl is to be welcomed; bringing vital services together at a site that is accessible for residents. The health board have indicated, however, that Chatsworth will close, and that it will close before the new facility in Rhyl is operational. This does not make clinical sense and would be unacceptable; I would urge the board to ensure that those beds currently being delivered by Chatsworth are not lost in the interim.

“The health board have indicated that emergency vascular and major vascular services are to be delivered in a centre of excellence, the preferred option of which is Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I welcome that decision and hope that the board will move swiftly to deliver this centre of excellence.

“Going forward, the health service in Wales remains under significant pressure and the clinical case for sensible and considered change remains. With demographic demands, inconsistencies in service quality, enduring health inequalities and tighter funding due to the UK Government cutting the Welsh Government’s funding; changes must be made to make the NHS in Wales safe and sustainable for future generations.”