The Betsi Health Board have launched their consultation. I sat in on two of their meetings today in Rhyl and was really concerned about their approach to Neo Natal intensive care services. This is called a "level 3" service. The proposal is to move the beds to Arrowe Park in Liverpool. This will mean a massive journey for patients from the more rural parts of North Wales and the more Western part of North Wales, with the possibility that mothers will be seperated from their babies, if they are not well enough to travel. Not only that, but it will also mean that parents will potentially be seperated from their existing children. What was not clear was that Arrowe Park is in fact in a position to offer better care. It appears that Glan Clwyd has one on one nursing with special intensive care babies, Arrowe Park does not. Arrowe Park does have more consultants, but it doesnt seem to have the 5 Senior House Officer Doctors that are present at Glan Clwyd. Furthermore what Betsi has not told the public is that if the level three service moves, so will the ability to train the Senior House Officer Doctors.
Betsi knew that the Deanery (responsible for decisions on training) have said that this will happen. What does it mean for the public in North Wales, it means a downgrading of the maternity services available, it means that Betsi's sums are wrong on the savings that they will make, as they will need to employ additional consultants or non SHO Doctors, and it will mean a key service being shut down in North Wales. Get involved with the consultation. Write to me with your objections and I will pass it on as to retain the service it will need public support. More worryingly, the answers given in the earlier meeting were not the same as in the later meeting, I have got that on the record and will be submitting FOI's to Arrowe Park, as clearly Betsi dont know the current level of cover, or arrangements because they are having to check them after parents from the charity Cuddles challenged the Health Board's assertions.