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Health Minister must intervene on Health Board’s reorganization by stealth says AM Aled Roberts

2013 Chwefror 6 9:12 AM

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board has been accused of implementing proposals which are still subject to further consideration and this has prompted North Wales Liberal Democrat Assembly Member, Aled Roberts, to demand that Health Minister Lesley Griffiths intervene to stop reorganization by stealth.

"It is nothing short of a disgrace," commented Aled Roberts. "At the start of the consultation process the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board laid great stress on making sure there was proper consultation with all interested groups. Now they are ignoring the views of the most important group of all, the Community Health Council, which has a statutory duty to represent the views of patients.

"There are reports that community hospitals marked for closure are already refusing new patients and that plans are being implemented to close minor injury units and x-ray facilities. But the Community Health Council and other interested parties have raised concerns about the ability of departments in North Wales' three district general hospitals to cope and the readiness of the enhanced care service to take over current in-patient services.

"There is a complete lack of regard for a proper process and an arrogant disregard of the Community Health Council which has yet to finalize its views. The Council has to make a decision by 1st March and the Board should have waited for their response before implementing any reorganization proposals.

"One of the options open to the Community Health Council was to refer some health reorganization proposals in North Wales to the Health Minister Lesley Griffiths. The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board clearly intend to circumvent that process and start reorganizing health services before the Health Minister has a chance to make a decision on concerns raised by the Community Health Council.

"If the buck does stop with Health Minister Lesley Griffiths, as she would have us believe, then she must intervene. She cannot allow reorganization by stealth to proceed in this way."