- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Assembly member Joyce Watson visited Glangwili’s Special Care Baby Unit on Friday (13 May) to discuss with staff ongoing developments at the Carmarthen hospital.
It was the Labour Mid and West Wales AM’s first official appointment, following her re-election on 7 May. She said:
“Health dominated the election campaign – knocking on doors throughout the region, it was the number one issue for lots of people. My first priority, therefore, has been to speak with hospital and health board staff, to seek reassurances about how the new services are operating and discuss plans for future development.”
The unit is being upgraded, as part of Hywel Dda University Health Board’s reform of women’s and children’s healthcare services in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. The upgrade will ensure the most appropriate capacity for care and improve accommodation.
Since the changes to neonatal care provision in Hywel Dda, a neonatal service has been developed which operates across the whole of Hywel Dda, delivering hospital and community care to these babies.
The Glangwili unit already provides Level 2 care such as special, high dependency and short-term intensive care and the unit can provide special feeding support (specialist intravenous feeding), which was not possible prior to the changes.
Medical recruitment to achieve compliance to be officially recognised as a Level 2 unit, remains a challenge but the health board is trying to improve its recruitment in this area.
There have also been significant improvements to the unit including more state of the art equipment.
The health board is more able to release nurses for speciality training. It has recruited neonatal specific speech, occupational, physiotherapy and dietetic therapists who work within the unit and support families at home.
Neonatal community care is provided by a newly established team of neonatal nurses who work to provide care and treatment in the home, allowing for early discharge home from Glangwili and neighbouring intensive care neonatal units. Their work enables smoother provision of care between these units, home and community services.
In February the Welsh Government awarded £3 million to further upgrade the environments and facilities at Glangwili’s maternity and neonatal units. “I look forward to seeing the second phase of improvements get underway from next April,” Mrs Watson added.
Isobel Hall, Directorate Nurse for Children’s services, commented:
“We welcome visits to our services as we are really keen to share and discuss the developments we are undertaking to continue to improve the care and facilities we provide. We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our staff who strive each and every day to provide the very best care for our families across the area.”