Countess of Chester Hospital chiefs have refused to be drawn over concerns it could face delivering up to an extra 1,000 babies a year from Wrexham Maelor.
Beleaguered Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is consulting on four options over maternity services at the three main North Wales hospitals - the Wrexham Maelor, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd at Bodelwyddan and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.
The options include the 'temporary' closure of doctor-led services at one of the three hospitals, which in Wrexham’s case would mean up to 1,000 babies being transferred each year to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
Plaid Cymru chiefs have expressed serious concerns expectant mothers may be forced to take long trips to the Countess of Chester and Glan Clwyd along busy routes including the A483 and the A55.
Our sister paper, the Daily Post asked the Countess of Chester what it thought of the possibility of taking hundreds more expectant mothers from Wrexham and if there were any contingency plans.
A Countess of Chester spokeswoman said: “We are aware of the proposals in the consultation document and await Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s decision.
“In the meantime, we will continue to provide a wide range of health services to patients in Deeside and Flintshire, as we have done for many years.”
Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru’s Wrexham spokeswoman, said: “The health board has come up with a set of proposals that will place mothers and babies at greater risk than at present.
“Any decision to downgrade maternity services at the Maelor will be fiercely opposed and the idea that mothers should travel the extra distance to Chester or Glan Clwyd is a huge concern.
“Many people don’t have ready access to a car and those that do are well aware of the problems of congestion, roadworks and regular accidents along both the A55 and A483.”
The first option being considered by BCHUB is to maintain the current levels of consultant-led maternity services in the thee North Wales hospitals.
A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokeswoman said: “ There are four options which will be consulted upon from Monday, August 24. Details of these were presented to the board at the public meeting on 18 August.
“The quality and safety of our maternity services is a hugely important issue for the people of North Wales and we would like to assure you that our overriding concern is the safety of mothers and babies.
“We’re aware that this will be a difficult discussion and we hope that people will get involved to tell us their views and help shape the way forward.”
A consultation questionnaire is now available to access online along with full details of the four options being considered.