Ma­ter­nity cam­paign­ers to quiz health min­is­ter

North Wales Weekly News - - NEWS -

MA­TER­NITY cam­paign­ers who fought to save ser­vices at Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd will quiz health min­is­ter Mark Drake­ford to­day (July 30).

Pro­fes­sor Drake­ford will field some tough ques­tions when he meets mums who bat­tled to stop the tem­po­rary down­grad­ing of ser­vices at the Den­bighshire hos­pi­tal dur­ing the meet­ing in Rhyl’s Fforddlas Com­mu­nity Cen­tre to­day.

Ar­ranged by Vale of Cl­wyd AM Ann Jones, his visit was an­nounced just hours af­ter First Min­is­ter Car­wyn Jones faced in­tense crit­i­cism over Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd dur­ing a packed Q&A in Rhyl last Wed­nes­day night.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Mr Jones went into more de­tail than ever be­fore about the prob­lems fac­ing the trou­bled unit and said it had a “bad rep­u­ta­tion” within the med­i­cal com­mu­nity.

The First Min­is­ter ad­mit­ted that in April the Royal Col­lege Ob­ste­tri­cians and Gy­nae­col­o­gists had writ­ten to him ask­ing Min­is­ters to tem­po­rar­ily close the ma­ter­nity unit.

Mr Jones said the an­swer to the prob­lems was the open­ing of the SuRNICC, but that ev­ery­one needed to work to­gether to make sure ser­vices were safe on all North Wales sites be­fore it opened.

He said: “I have to say to you that the depart­ment it­self has a bad rep­u­ta­tion amongst medics that’s the prob­lem. Try­ing to re­cruit peo­ple af­ter all that has hap­pened is very dif­fi­cult.”

Af­ter months of cam­paign­ing, protests, a 15,000 strong pe­ti­tion and le­gal chal­lenge, Betsi Cad­wal­adr made a U-turn on its con­tro­ver­sial plans in last month and agreed to carry out a public con­sul­ta­tion.

The public con­sul­ta­tion is due to start in Au­gust and will run for around six weeks.

But dur­ing last night’s meet­ing one cam­paigner voiced fears to the First Min­is­ter that the public con­sul­ta­tion was just a “pub­lic­ity stunt”, ask­ing “in re­al­ity is it al­ready a done deal?”

The First Min­is­ter set out a list of cri­te­ria for the process, say­ing those who had launched the ju­di­cial re­view pro­ceed­ings, and the lo­cal health coun­cil would have to agree with the for­mat be­fore it could go ahead.

He said: “There has to be agree­ment from ev­ery­body on what the con­sul­ta­tion should look like, it’s got to be an open process so peo­ple will have the op­por­tu­nity to put their views for­ward.”

The meet­ing will take place at Fforddlas Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Rhyl at 3pm to­day, Thurs­day, to lis­ten to the con­cerns of all those who wrote to AM Ann Jones con­cern­ing Betsi’s plans.

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