Hywel Dda Health Board has taken action to improve women and children’s services in Withybush and Glangwili hospitals and will take advice from its doctors and nurses before making any further changes to overnight rotas and gynaecology surgery.

At a full health board meeting recently held, board members approved an action plan detailing the measures that have already, or will be taken, against 54 recommendations made by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The college provided the recommendations in November 2015 after reviewing changes to some women and children’s services in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, which were made in 2014.

Actions taken already include:

  • A project group, led by the chief executive, is building a business case for Phase Two Women and Children’s capital project at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, to provide much-needed investment and upgrading of accommodation for women, children and their families
  • In the interim, a room to accommodate waiting fathers has been identified in Glangwili Hospital
  • Daytime sessions on the Special Care Baby Unit at Glangwili Hospital have been scheduled for all consultants providing out of hours cover
  • Plans are progressing to move the Paediatric Assessment Unit closer to the Emergency Department, at Withybush Hospital, to improve patient flow and provide enhanced support by the specialist paediatric team to emergency staff.

The board agreed further immediate action in the meeting, which was to:

  • Extend financing by the Health Board of DAV (the dedicated ambulance vehicle for women and children’s services) to 2016/17, while negotiations continue with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust to agree a longer term commitment to this service to provide stability for employees
  • Appoint Children’s Champion Mike Ponton as lead Independent Member for Women and Children’s issues

Speaking after the meeting, Chief Executive, Steve Moore, said, ‘This action plan demonstrates the very clear commitment and action being taken by this health board to be the best it can be and continually challenge ourselves to review and make improvements.’