THE Health Minister’s announcement backing plans to close Withybush Special Care Baby Unit has caused anger across the county.
Western Telegraph readers have their say on the decision...
KIM ROBERTS said: “I hope the people who have decided this can’t sleep at night knowing innocent babies will die on there way to Carmarthen.”
CLAIRE PHILLIPS said: “And there you have it... say goodbye to Withybush Hospital because the cascade effect as a result of this decision will be catastrophic...it’s a sad day for Pembrokeshire.”
SAMANTHA OSBORNE said: “It’s a total disgrace.
The Health Minister says paediatrics and A&E will continue as it is, consultants will remain in place until the midwife led unit is fully established and ‘matured’, what about the pressure on the air ambulance? I don’t believe a word of it. It’s shocking!”
PETER ZAC SCAMMELL: “So people now have to travel at least 40 minutes to Carmarthen rather than Carmarthen travelling up to 20 minutes to Swansea.
LISA ROBERTS: “Money before babies lives so wrong.”
MARTIN THOMAS: “So when you have to get to Carmarthen in a emergency and there are no ambulances available, will the health authority pay your fines or worse case (which I hope never happens) pay for the funeral of the poor person who has passed away while trying to get there?”
KARA LEWIS said: “I take it public opinion counts for nothing then? So much for democracy!”
MICHELLE EVANS said: “How are parents on low incomes going to get back and forth and how will they get the emotional support from family members if they need the SCBU? It’s disgusting.”
ZOE DAVIES said: “Money, money, money all the time isn’t it! I honestly though lives were more important.”
SAMANTHA OTHEN: “That’s absolutely awful.
Carmarthen is just too far as the next hospital. This is risking lives of both mothers and their new babies!”
ELECTRA1 asks: “So what happens when the road is blocked with snow and no helicopters are flying?”
DAVY525 said: “Expectant mothers in Pembrokeshire: Please DO NOT go into LABOUR at 12.30pm(lunch time). The ferry in Fishguard docks at this time of the day and should you call an ambulance you will be in the back of the queue behind 300 to 400 cars and lorries travelling along the A40 whilst you are heading for Glangwilli Hospital on an inferior road.
Not many passing places for the ambulance? It is possible that many babies will be born “on-route” due to this disgusting decision to close the baby unit at Withybush.”
MCSPARROW_98 said: “Robust Transfer Method - This is an absolute joke - of the highest order. Although in fairness we have just improved transport links between Penblewyn and Haverfordwest with the new bypass and additional overtaking lane.... oh wait....This is an absolute joke too. No matter which road you choose to take to get out of Pembrokeshire, you are limited by the speed of the driver in front of you – which I’ve found on average is about 45 miles per hour - on a good day.”
FLASHBANG said: “You’re going to have blood on your hands sooner rather than later Minister. I hope you are told when someone dies because of your decisions.”
SIMON BEAVIS said: “It’s easy for them to close down parts of the hospital at Withybush but that doesn’t help all the local people of the area who now have to travel all the way to Carmarthen now does it. As usual wait for all the bad things to happen now before the government realises that it’s a big mistake.”
LS&JAJ said: “And what will they say when women and their babies start dying because they can’t get to the hospital on time? We are all just a number to them, this person obviously has not had a prem baby in the family as if they had they would realise just how important this service is. My son is in WGH SCUBU now and he has made such a lot of improvements since coming back from Singleton in Swansea, and I feel the staff in the unit are a mostly responsible for his progress.”
WILLIAMSMUM said: “It seems we are going backwards in time not forwards.
The NHS is not a ‘National’ Service. People of Pembrokeshire don’t count. I expect not one of those involved in making the decisions live down here or have family here, so why should they care?!”
AREKID said: “This is a complete and utter joke, putting the lives of poor innocent babies and mothers at risk. This all boils down to supposed lack of funds which we all know is utter bull. Let’s just hope he’s never in the situation where someone from his family needs the treatment/ aid and support from such a vital and important unit, where they don’t get it as they’ve got to travel another 40 plus miles to their closest facility! It’s time we stood up as one and fight for what we believe in to get this decision overturned before any real consequences happen due to this poor wrongful choice made by people who won’t be affected by it.”
POWER 71 said: “It will cost lives… What next scrap A&E in Withybush? Third rate health care for Pembrokeshire.”
PAULINE COLE said: “So Dr Palit - whose words were “We will be on the precipice of disaster” should Withybush be downgraded has been ignored, along with the rest of us poor Pembrokeshire people who have written and begged for SCBU and other services to be saved. Dr Palit was awarded an OBE for services to paediatrics, including his fight to bring services west of Carmarthen. This is outrageous and many, many lives will be lost. It just cannot and must not happen.”
KAYLEIGH WHITE said: “Any mother in the area now is facing a potential tragedy.
The journey to Carmarthen is the longest and most irritating for someone in a hurry. Even on the best of days with minimum traffic you will still get held up and this will prove to be a deadly procedure. Plus with all the ambulances being assigned to transferring mothers and babies to Carmarthen, other people will suffer. What the hell is going on? I certainly would not like to be having a child in this area now!”
LEE EVANS said: “The special baby care unit shouldn’t be closed. We need that unit to save lives . I think it’s disgusting about the people that have agreed with it should be ashamed.”