Last ditch meeting to be held


Matt Jones

A “LAST ditch” meeting will be held between community leaders and health bosses.

Members of Denbighshire Council will meet with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board chief executive Mary Burrows (pictured right) to raise concerns over the closure of Prestatyn Hospital and the axing of neonatal care for the sickest babies from Glan Clwyd Hospital.

They are concerned about the level of support for carers, transport and travel arrangements and the potential cost to the council.

Last month, the health board pressed ahead with controversial plans to shut the Prestatyn site and replace it with a new 30-bed hospital on the site of the Royal Alexandra Hospital and to send longer-term intensive care for babies to Arrowe Park on the Wirral.

Cllr Bobby Feeley, Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care and Children’s Services, said after the meeting the council will look again at a vote of no confidence in the changes.

She said: “We have agreed to a last ditch effort to have a high level meeting with Mary Burrows to bring forward our concerns.

“On balance, we think it’s preferable to keep the dialogue going until absolutely every avenue has been explored and we will report back to the next Full Council with the results.”

Concerns also include transition arrangements as the health board prepares to close some services and facilities before any guarantee of funding for new capital investment is in place or temporary services established and the future of Glan Clwyd Hospital as a District General Hospital.

A report of the meeting will be presented to the Full Council on February 26 ahead of a potential no confidence vote.

*HEALTH Minister Lesley Griffiths said a health watchdog should only refer a controversial decision over health changes as a “last resort”.

Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council is considering its response to the changes outlined by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and could refer the matter to the minster.

Mrs Griffiths said: “The driving force behind NHS Wales service change is the need to ensure safe and sustainable services for the future, and it is vital we keep this goal in sight.”

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