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Welsh Neonatal centre approved

Wednesday May 14th, 2014

First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has announced that he has accepted an independent panel’s recommendation to locate a Sub Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Centre for North Wales (SuRNICC) at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

An independent panel – chaired by Sonia Mills, an experienced former NHS chief executive – was established to work with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to develop recommendations on the location of a SuRNICC.

The panel set out clear criteria for choosing the right site, including safety, patient experience, training and staff education. On many of the areas there was little to choose between the two sites under consideration – Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

However, when the panel looked at access, particularly for those living in the west and for those in the most deprived communities, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd emerged as the better option.

The First Minister said:  “I am accepting the independent panel’s recommendation to locate the SuRNICC at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. However, I recognise the challenges and risks the panel highlighted in its report, and these will need to be addressed by the health board before the development of the SuRNICC can go ahead at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

“The panel commented on the great loyalty and commitment of the staff working in both neonatal units, so I know there will be disappointment for some about this recommendation.

“I believe the panel’s advice to be robust and well balanced – and, most importantly – in the best interests of families in North Wales. It will require the health board’s commitment to long-term sustainable services. It will also require the continued commitment of the dedicated staff across the whole of North Wales and it will require our commitment to communicate this decision positively to the population of North Wales.

“Fundamentally, this is about providing the best possible standards of care and clinical outcomes for mothers and babies across North Wales as a whole. Working together we can help to improve outcomes for our sickest babies and children.”

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