Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council must reconsider their decision not to refer planned changes by the local health board to the Labour Health Minister for final determination.
Betsi Cadwaladr CHC decided last week to give the go ahead to move specialist intensive care for babies in north Wales to England, despite strong local opposition to the plans.
Welsh Liberal Democrats have questioned how two neighbouring community health councils have reached completely different conclusions while facing similar strength of feeling from local people. This follows reports that Hywed Dda CHC will refer the LHB’s reorganisation’s plans for the Health Minister to make a final decision.
Betsi Cadwaladr CHC have until March 1st to reconsider their option to refer to the Welsh Government.
I was shocked and surprised by the fact that none of the Health Board’s proposals have been referred to the Health Minister by Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council. They are supposed to be there to represent the views of the people of North Wales – they clearly have failed.
In my view, there were sufficient grounds for the CHC to refer the planned downgrading of our neo-natal services to the Health Minister and I was stunned that they hadn’t done so. They need to explain why they have come to this decision, as in my opinion, it is completely the wrong one.
I am also urging them to reconsider their decision not to refer the LHB’s to the Health Minister. They have until March 1st to make that request and they should seriously reconsider their original decision so that the Health Minster can make the final decision on health provision in North Wales herself.
The people of North Wales must, rightly, feel very let down by their own community health council when a neighbouring CHC has asked the Health Minister to consider the proposals for reorganisation made by the local health boards.
Community Health Councils are there to reflect the views of the community and the patients who rely on health services. Over the past few months, we have seen, in media reports and in the consultation responses, a great strength of feeling against the reorganisation plans put forward by both Betsi Cadwaradr and Hywel Dda LHBs.
This whole process so far has raised serious questions about efficacy of some local health councils across Wales.