- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The National Assembly for Wales yesterday (27 November) debated the future of consultant-led maternity services at Withybush Hospital.
Haverfordwest-based Labour AM, Joyce Watson, argued that Withybush must retain a service capable of stabilising mother and baby when complications occur.
Mrs Watson said “serious questions” would have to be answered if the health board’s plans went beyond what was proposed during last year’s consultation.
Here is an extract of Joyce Watson’s speech:
“I absolutely support the plan for a level 2 neonatal unit in the Hywel Dda area. The fact is, at the moment, we do not have level 2 neonatal support in the Hywel Dda area.
“The Withybush maternity unit is the crucial missing piece of the puzzle. Until Hywel Dda submits its proposal to the Welsh Government we cannot assess the overall plan. Those plans will be submitted to the Welsh Government before the end of the year. Hywel Dda has said that the proposed models will meet the necessary standard of safety and sustainability. That claim will rightly be scrutinised.
“I do, however, completely understand why people are anxious to head off perceived threats to services. Serious questions will have to be answered if the health board’s plan goes beyond what was originally proposed during the consultation process. Either consultation is genuine public engagement or it is not. What is clear to me is that Withybush must retain a service that can stabilise mother and baby when complications occur. That is a red line and a promise that has been given in the Chamber.”
The Mid and West AM also questioned the health minister over hospital transport:
“I urge the Minister, when Hywel Dda does submit its proposals, to consider carefully the question of transport. In particular, how the plans will affect ambulance and other hospital transport services. Patients who are reliant on public transport must also be considered in all of this.”
The minister said that he had already determined that the Hywel Dda health board must carry out a further piece of work in respect of its obstetric, midwifery and gynaecological services, explicitly setting out the way in which these services are linked to its proposals for changes to neonatal services.