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Written Statement - North Wales Neonatal Review – Establishment of the Panel to make recommendations on the most appropriate location of the Sub-Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Centre (SuRNICC)

Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales

Following acceptance of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) proposed model for the delivery of neonatal services in North Wales in the longer term, I made an oral statement on 12 November 2013 confirming a Sub-Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Centre (SuRNICC) would be developed in the North Wales area.  In that statement I also stated I would be taking a decision on the location of the SuRNICC proposed by the RCPCH.

An independent panel has now been established to develop a strategic outline case and recommendations for the location of the SuRNICC on one of the existing acute hospital sites, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd or Ysbyty Wrexham Maelor, as recommended in the RCPCH report.  In addition the Panel will draw out the implications for the remaining sites in North Wales as well as the implications for other interdependent services.  Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will take these fully into account when developing its proposals to improve acute services in the North Wales LHB area.

The Panel will be led by Sonia Mills, an experienced former CEO from the NHS who has achieved much in the delivery of patient services including improved safety and delivery on key service changes.  Sonia will be working closely with Steve Boardman who has over 25 years health care experience, having worked in and consulted with the NHS, the private sector and health care businesses. Expert clinical advice will be provided to the Panel by the RCPCH.  

The Panel will engage with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the RCPCH, the North Wales Community Health Council, Neonatal Transport services, the North Wales Transport  Health Group, and other relevant stakeholder groups in arriving at the assessment criteria 
for the option appraisal, and in the development of the strategic outline case.

The Panel will also undertake an engagement programme with all relevant stakeholders including NHS staff, patient groups and other stakeholders in North Wales who may be affected by the decision, in line with the process followed by the Royal College in its initial review of neonatal services.

Recommendations were to be provided to me by the beginning of March.  I did not feel, however, that this gave enough time to undertake a sufficient engagement process with all those who might have an interest.  I have therefore agreed an extension to this piece of work and I will now receive the Panel’s recommendations by 31 March 2014.  I will consider these recommendations once received and inform the Assembly of my decision.