Alun Ffred Jones AM


THE decision to move the intensive care unit for new-born babies from north Wales to Arrowe Park on the Wirral continues to make headlines.

In the Assembly last week First Minister Carwyn Jones announced that the Royal College of Paediatrics will conduct a review of the issue over the next four months.

Having asked for such a review in a letter to the First Minister and new Health Minister Mark Drakeford, I welcomed this announcement as far as it went.

I questioned the First Minister on his reasons for contravening the decision taken by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, ratified by the Local Health Council, to move the service over the border.

I also queried the Board’s claim that very few babies from north Wales would need treatment at Arrowe Park.

The Minister would only say that he is concerned that there is no certainty over the future of Arrowe Park, over which Wales has no control.

The number of babies involved will be considered in the review.

The safety of the service is paramount of course, and it is too early to claim a victory - but we are closer to ensuring that this vital service is within reasonable reach of parents in all parts of the north.

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