Petitions Committee backs independent review of health provision in Blaenau Ffestiniog
The National Assembly's Petitions Committee has backed a call for an independent review of health provision in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area.
The Committee has been considering a petition submitted on behalf of the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital Defence Committee which originally called for a delay in a decision by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to downgrade the Memorial Hospital to a health centre. Services including minor injuries treatment, in-patient beds and x-ray were transferred to Ysbyty Alltwen in Tremadog 14 miles away following a reorganisation of health services in north Wales.
The Petitions Committee has published a report containing a summary of its consideration of the petition and its conclusions arising from this process.
The Committee has supported recommendations made in late 2017 by the Care Scrutiny Committee of Gwynedd Council, which held an Extraordinary Meeting last year in which it took evidence from BCUHB and the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital Defence Committee.
The recommendations included:
A request for a report immediately on the health provision in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area by an independent agency.
For Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to regularly monitor information and data in relation to the effectiveness of current health services in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area and the well-being of its residents, and to commit to adapting or changing provision if there is evidence to justify it.
That the Health Board give detailed consideration to engagement and consultation shortcomings in the past in order to improve future arrangements.
The Petitions Committee also concluded that further efforts are needed to build bridges between BCUHB and members of the local community in Blaenau Ffestiniog, pointing to the opening of the health centre, Canolfan Goffa Ffestiniog, as a possible impetus for this.
"We thank the petitioners for their vigorous and passionate campaigning on this issue, and welcome the scrutiny process which has recently been conducted locally," said David Rowlands AM, Chair of the National Assembly's Petitions Committee.
"We believe its findings, particularly the recommendation for an independent review of healthcare provision in the Blaenau Ffestiniog area, should be taken on by health service providers.
"We also believe strongly in the need to build bridges between Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital Defence Committee, and hope the establishment of Canolfan Goffa Ffestiniog proves to be a suitable catalyst for constructive dialogue to begin."
Read the full report:
Restoration of Inpatient Beds, Minor Injuries Cover and X-Ray Unit to the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital: (PDF, 550 KB)