In an unprecedented step the Health Minister said she would review the proposals even though the Community Health Council's may approve them.
The following letter was sent to the Daily Post in response to Saturday's article:
It was unsurprising that the Daily Post allowed the Health Minister the right to reply after publishing a scathing critique of the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board reconfiguration proposals last week; what was surprising however was her frankness after months of hiding behind her quasi judicial role. Clearly the Neonatal campaign and the planned lobby of the Minister's office had forced her to respond to increasing pressure.
It is pleasing to note that irrespective of the decision of the so called independent Community Health council (half of whose members she appoints), the Minister will still review the decisions which in that case begs the question whether the CHC need to make a decision at all.
Another worry in the comments made is that the decision will be based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer and 'three independent members with appropriate clinical configuration experience outside Wales.' Who exactly are these people and does that experience extend to introducing an internal market for health as in England? If that is the case, let us make it clear here and now that such interference by bureaucrats from elsewhere will not be acceptable.
Despite the claim that the 'Buck stops here' I don't think it does as far as Neonatal Intensive care s concerned, it is too much of a 'hot potato' in the Minister's own constituency for her to make the decision to move the service. On the other hand if the decision is to retain the service in Wrexham then she will bask in the glory of that decision and use it to recover her rapidly dwindling core support.
Councillor Arfon Jones