Work will start next month on Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s new intensive care unit for very sick and premature babies.
The Welsh Government has confirmed it will invest £18 million on the neonatal centre at the Bodelwyddan Hospital. Around £16 million of funding has now been approved by health secretary Vaughan Gething, on top of £1.8 million already announced for equipment.
The Betsi Cadwaladr health board says it is already looking for staff to work at the new unit, including neonatal consultants. It’s hoped the sub-regional centre will open within two years.
Mr Gething said: ”This investment reflects expert advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health who recommended that the health board should plan to provide neonatal intensive care at one central site in the region. I look forward to seeing the project progress and the new unit taking shape.”
In 2013, specialist maternity care at Glan Clwyd was earmarked by the health board to move across the border to Arrowe Park Hospital in Upton on the Wirral – but the decision was overturned by first minister Carwyn Jones. Last year, proposals to downgrade doctor-led maternity services were scrapped following a public and political backlash.
Betsi Cadwaladr said they welcomed the health secretary’s announcement as a ‘major step forward’ and would now look at what support families will need when they access neonatal care at the new site.