Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for Arfon Siân Gwenllian is calling on the First Minister of Wales to ‘come clean’ about threats to emergency vascular services at Ysbyty Gwynedd Bangor and confirm when the decision was formally taken to remove the emergency service from the hospital.
Siân Gwenllian AM will raise the issue during First Minister’s Questions in the Senedd today, as concerns mount about the lack of transparency in the process of determining the future provision of vascular care at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board is in special measures and the direct responsibility of the Welsh Labour Government.
Specific concerns have been raised about the decision-making process that led to the Health Board reneging on a promise to keep the world renowned emergency vascular service at the district hospital, despite opposition from patients, health professionals and local politicians.
Siân Gwenllian AM said,
‘My constituents and I have become increasingly alarmed at the way Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board has dealt with this issue, initiating sweeping public health reforms with little accountability.’
‘The First Minister must now come clean about how these decisions were taken and why the whole process has been tarred by broken promises, misleading statements and deliberate opaqueness from the outset.’
‘The responses which I have so far received from both the Welsh Labour Government and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board have failed to address the serious concerns which I, and an increasing number of my constituents have.’
‘I’ve repeatedly asked for information about when exactly the decision to remove emergency services was taken. A letter sent to GPs in Feb 2018 sates clearly that emergency services will be retained at Ysbyty Gwynedd and records from the Board’s March meeting confirms this.’
‘We now understand that emergency vascular services will NOT be retained. I have been asking the Welsh Labour Government and the Health Board to show me the minutes which confirm this change of policy, but to date my questions have not been answered.’
‘The Health Board has also chosen to discount calls for an impact assessment into the effects of removing emergency vascular care from Ysbyty Gwynedd on patients living in the farthest corners of north west Wales.’
‘Consequently, far reaching reforms are being pushed through the back door with minimal public scrutiny and little or no transparency at the expense of patient care and ultimately, their safety.’