P-04-564 Restoration of Inpatient Beds, Minor Injuries Cover and X-Ray Unit to the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital. Correspondence – Petitioner to the Committee 13.04.16


For the attention of the Petitions Committee

RE: P-04-564

We thank you for forwarding to us a copy of the Minister’s response to you. Whilst we cannot claim to be in any way surprised by its content, we have, yet again, to express dismay with Mr Drakeford’s contrived intransigence.

Over the past three years, he has overseen the appointment of no fewer than THREE different Chief Executives to the Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and yet he still feels the need to keep the Board under Special Measures. Meanwhile, he insists that he will not interfere with any decisions, past or present, taken by the Betsi. In other words, the buck stops with him in the one instance and with the health board in the other. A contradictory stance by a government Minister, to say the least!

In his response to the Petitions Committee (29.03.2016), Mr Drakeford fleetingly refers to a meeting between the health board hierarchy and ourselves, thus implying that a way forward could be agreed by both parties. Such a meeting did take place on March 15th, during which we again raised several serious concerns but, following a two hour discussion, the outcome was very much déjà vu, with Board officials showing a similar intransigence to that of the Minister himself. When confronted with the overwhelming result of a referendum held in the area thirteen months ago, the Betsi’s chairman Dr Higson claimed that the health board was not answerable to any democratic process! The meeting came to an end with him seeking our co-operation in implementing the Board’s plans; i.e. the exact same plans that we have objected to for the past three years!

So much, therefore, for Mr Drakeford’s faith in the democratic process.

Given that the Board refuses to respond in any meaningful way to letters of complaint from patients in the Welsh Uplands, then the Memorial Hospital Defence Committee has been left with no option but to produce yet another pamphlet in an effort to underline the serious state of healthcare in this area. We hope that you will find time to study its content. (The attached photograph is that of the 87 year old Mrs F, mentioned on Page 11. )

Also attached, albeit in Welsh, is the Defence Committee’s response to Dr Higson following the above-mentioned meeting. Three weeks have since elapsed and we still await even a basic acknowledgement of receipt!

In the meantime, we again thank you for your patience in this matter and for giving our petition the attention that it deserves.

Yours very sincerely, on behalf of the Ffestiniog Memorial Hospital Defence Committee,

Geraint V Jones (Chairman)