Local AMs have hit out at Health Board plans to downgrade maternity services at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is to meet later today to consider a proposal to withdraw consultant-led maternity care from the hospital for a year as a result of recruitment challenges. The plans will see a midwifery led unit established at Glan Clwyd Hospital with more complex births transferred to either Bangor or Wreham, which will retain their services. AMs were informed of the plans yesterday.

The proposals come just nine months after the First Minister announced that a Sub-Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Cente would be established at Glan Clywd Hospital ending months of uncertainty over baby care in the region. The Health Board has indicated that in spite of the proposals to withdraw consultant-led maternity care, it is still committed to the delivery of the neonatal intensive care centre.

Vale of Clwyd AM Ann Jones and Clwyd West AM Darren Millar, who campaigned together to secure the neonatal care centre in Bodelwyddan, have condemned the proposals.

Ann Jones AM said:

“I am appalled by these proposals.

“The Health Board has failed to consult with key stakeholders, patients and the frontline staff who will be affected by their plans and has refused to share Board papers in advance of its deliberations.

“This lack of communication and poor attitude to transparent decision making has been heavily criticised in the past and ultimately led to the previous Chair and Chief Executive leaving their posts.

“I had hoped that the Board had learnt lessons from those failings, but it appears that those hopes have been dashed.”

Darren Millar AM said:

“Ann Jones and I will be working together to see these plans scrapped.

“The removal of consultant-led obstetric and gynaecological services from Glan Clwyd Hospital will put the lives of mothers and their babies at risk.

“The Health Board is like a dog returning to its vomit. Proposals like this have been abandoned in the recent past and yet here we are again having to fight the same battle over again.

“I am concerned that the lack of progress in delivering the new regional baby care centre in Bodelwyddan is a sign that the Board want to abandon plans for the facility. If they were truly committed then Glan Clwyd would be the very last place to withdraw services from.

“The Health Board needs to go back to the drawing board, have some meaningful engagement with stakeholders and come back with more sensible proposals that have widespread support.”