Breast Cancer Services Fury

Marc Jones, health campaigner, with Fiona Boyce, Barbara George, and Beryl Rogers Breast Cancer Services Campaigners
Marc Jones, health campaigner, with Fiona Boyce, Barbara George, and Beryl Rogers Breast Cancer Services Campaigners at the BCUHB Board meeting

Campaigners fighting to keep Breast Cancer services in Wrexham were bitterly disappointed that they were not allowed to address the Health Board today (Tuesday 10 March).

The Betsi Cadwaladr health board were meeting at Mold for the first time since the shock decision to transfer consultant-led services from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd to Wrexham and Bangor. This was also the first opportunity campaigners had to challenge the Board about plans to move Breast Cancer Services from Wrexham to Glan Clwyd. The change comes as the Health Board are looking to change maternity services at Glan Clwyd Hospital, with more mothers and babies expecting to have to go to Wrexham Maelor Hospital as a consequence.

Campaigners travelled to the board meeting in Mold in order to question the Board on the proposals. However, having received verbal indication that they would be allowed to express a comment, they were denied that opportunity when the issue arose.

Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid Cymru Candidate for Clwyd South who attended the meeting and sat with the campaigners, said: “The proposed changes to downgrade maternity services in north Wales have been universally criticised by clinicians, campaigners and politicians as ill-judged, and poorly thought out. But one untold consequence of this hurried decision is that Breast Cancer services will be moved from Wrexham over to Glan Clwyd in order to accommodate the new influx of mothers and babies at Wrexham Maelor. This has resulted in many women voicing their concerns about their future treatment at Wrexham Maelor. We have received no assurances that these changes are only temporary, nor whether check-ups and other breast cancer treatments will remain in Wrexham.

“Campaigners attending the Board meeting wanted to challenge the Board on these and other issues, but were refused a chance to ask their questions. They and other patients deserve answers as a matter of urgency.

“It is not right that major changes are being carried out without consultation and without seeking the opinion of those affected.”

Campaigners have set up a petition on the online campaigning website 38 Degrees, ‘Keep Breast Cancer Surgery In Wrexham’, and over a thousand have already signed it, which reads:

  1. Review the decision to centre breast surgery at Glan Clwyd to serve the whole of North Wales.
  2. Clarify whether this decision is an ‘interim’ change, or a permanent one.
  3. Clarify whether or not check-ups and other breast cancer treatments currently carried out in Wrexham will remain in Wrexham.