Glan Clwyd to be new neonatal care site, minister says
Intensive care services for babies in north Wales are to be centralised at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan, the Welsh government has decided.
The announcement follows an independent review which also considered Wrexham Maelor Hospital as the sole location for intensive care for babies.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health carried out the review.
However, babies needing the highest care level will need to go to Arrowe Park hospital on the Wirral.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the largest health organisation in Wales, said it now had to make the business case for creating a "sub regional neonatal intensive care centre".
The board faced a campaign by local people as well as opposition from AMs of all four parties in Wales after its 2012 consultation document Healthcare in North Wales is Changing suggested moving specialist intensive care for babies across the border.
Currently both Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor provide specialist neonatal care, at what is known as level 3 care.
The announcement on Tuesday confirms that intensive care for those being treated in north Wales will be centralised at Glan Clwyd in Denbighshire.
But some babies needing the highest care level - estimated at around 36 each year - will need to go to Arrowe Park hospital on the Wirral, as originally envisaged by the health board.
That follows the recommendation made by the Royal College review, which recognised that in the short to medium term the necessary investment and medical expertise would not be in place in north Wales.
In a statement welcoming the decision by First Minister Carwyn Jones, the chair of the board, Dr Peter Higson, said: "It ends a period of uncertainty for our dedicated and committed staff, as well as local people."