Sunday, 14 November 2010

Smokescreen by politicians over children's hospital services

Campaigners against the downgrading of Wrexham's Special Care Baby Unit should not to be fooled by a "political smokescreen".

That was the warning after the confusion caused by Labour AMs claiming the threat of closure had been lifted. At the same time both health minister Edwina Hart and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board were saying that the review into maternity services across North Wales were ongoing until January 2011.

Marc Jones, Plaid Cymru's Assembly candidate for Wrexham, said:

"The strength of feeling about the maternity services in Wrexham, Glan Clwyd and Bangor has shaken Labour politicians, including Edwina Hart. If NHS bosses had come out and said 'no change' today I would accept that as a victory but we already knew the consultation had been extended and there's no clear statement that any of the three hospitals' services will remain as they are.

"The claims that the threat to the service has been lifted is just a smokescreen. The review is still ongoing and there is no certainty that the current full maternity service provided in Wrexham Maelor Hospital will continue.

"Among the options are downgrading the service to a midwife-led service with a consultant-led unit based in Glan Clwyd. Let's consider what that would mean. In the case of the Special Care Baby Unit, downgrading the service could mean moving Intensive Care Cots to Glan Clwyd.

"That option could mean that all first-time and 'complicated' births in Wrexham were automatically referred to Glan Clwyd. What happens when a 'normal' birth in the Maelor turns into an emergency and the mother and child have to be transferred up the A55? These are the questions that need answering.

"We need to know the truth about the future of the Special Care Baby Unit in Wrexham. We do not need politicians creating smokescreens to confuse and distract attention from the very real concerns people have about their NHS."


Keith Astbury said...

It'd be a travesty if this closed down. Parents are under enough pressure in these situations without having to travel great distances. My youngest was in there for a week, which is nothing compared to a lot of people, but it was a very str...essful time. I remember a lady from the Dolgellau area who had been travelling there daily for months. A charity kindly contributed to her costs after a while, but that's not the point. And getting public transport from, say, Wrexham to Glan Clwyd isn't going to be without difficulty is it?

Plaid Whitegate said...

There is no (direct) public transport to Glan Clwyd from Wrecsam. For people living further afield, all the way down to Barmouth, the stress - as you say - will be all the greater.