North Wales neonatal intensive care unit location debated

Baby in intensive care The meeting follows an independent review's suggestion intensive care for babies be centralised at one site

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The location of a new neonatal intensive care unit in north Wales is being discussed at the first of two meetings for interested parties.

The panel is debating whether the centre should be in Wrexham Maelor or Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan.

It follows an independent review's suggestion that intensive care for babies be centralised at one site.

Former Welsh NHS chief executive Sonia Mills is chairing the meeting at the Kinmel Manor Hotel, Abergele.

Last year, First Minister Carwyn Jones commissioned the Royal College of Paediatricians to carry out the review.

In November he overturned a decision to transfer specialist care for some very poorly and premature babies in north Wales to England.

But he said some babies needing the highest care level will need to go to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.

This was criticised by the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Midwives and the British Medical Association, as well as some parents who claimed that the longer journeys involved would put lives at risk.

Currently specialist (level 3) neonatal care is offered at both Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd, the only hospitals in north Wales to do so.

The second stakeholder meeting will take place at the Ramada Hotel, Wrexham, on 19 March.

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