Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth is encouraging constituents to make their voice heard to protect Ysbyty Gwynedd maternity services, before the consultation closes on Monday, October 5th.
The Anglesey AM said:
“Hundreds of people have signed Plaid Cymru’s petition opposing any proposal to close consultant-led maternity services at Ysbyty Gwynedd, which shows the strength of feeling locally regarding this matter.
“The excellent team of midwives, nurses and doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd provide the people of Anglesey with a vital maternity service. To suggest downgrading the services is simply not acceptable.
“I have already submitted my response to the consultation, saying that we cannot afford to lose the maternity unit in Ysbyty Gwynedd as it is, and we cannot accept this as a first step towards downgrading the hospital in general. Constituents can read my response in full on my website, but I would also encourage as many people as possible to contribute directly to the consultation before the deadline on 5th October.”
People can read more about the proposals and respond to the consultation via the Health Board’s website www.wales.nhs.uk/NWMaternity.
Rhun’s response to the north Wales maternity consultation:
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to submit my response to the consultation on maternity services in the north. I write in my role as Assembly Member for Ynys Môn, and in particular I want to comment on plans for Ysbyty Gwynedd, the general hospital which serves my constituents.
I cannot over-emphasise my concern regarding any steps which could lead to the downgrading of maternity and obstetric services in Ysbyty Gwynedd. I want to voice my opposition to such steps in the strongest possible way.
You are considering downgrading the maternity unit to a midwifery unit only. We should not at any account go down this path. For geographical reasons alone, it is completely unreasonable to consider taking medical expertise away from an unit that serves such a wide area, with mothers travelling from great distances and journeys taking an hour and more already.
2500 babies are born at Ysbyty Gwynedd each year. A large number of them need additional care during childbirth. The result of downgrading to maternity services alone would be to force hundreds of pregnant mothers to travel to another hospital some distance away in order to receive that additional care, or to be transported there in a hurry, putting the mother at risk because of the delay, and putting substantial extra pressure on Ambulance services.
However, there are other concerns regarding what would be the end result of such a step. This false step would be the start of a process of eroding Ysbyty Gwynedd’s capacity as an emergency hospital. It would mean a reduction in what is offered in terms of pediatric services, for example, and as a result the emergency unit would not be a fully operational one.
There are strong feelings regarding this matter in my constituency and across the northwest, as there are across the north in relation to other elements of your proposals. I have chosen not to respond to your consultation by using the official consultation form, for the reason that, through that form, you invite the people of north Wales to work against each other, and to choose their local hospital over other hospitals. I am not prepared to do so, and it is not reasonable for you to put the people of north Wales in that position. I am arguing the case of Ysbyty Gwynedd – a hospital which is absolutely key to servicing a wide, rural area. We cannot afford to lose the maternity unit as it is, and we cannot accept this as a first step towards downgrading the hospital in general.
RHUN AP IORWERTH
Assembly Member for Ynys Môn