AM highlights knock on SCBU effect
1:40pm Saturday 2nd February 2013 in News
Most people recognise that the NHS has to adapt to the changing needs of the population.
Drugs are expensive, disciplines are becoming more specialised, sufferers of chronic conditions are increasing and there’s not enough money to meet the competing demands of health, education and social care to name but a few.
Through all this we must listen to people’s concerns and above all protect the vulnerable.
Few are more vulnerable than our newborns and the current inconsistency of provision and crucial nature of neonatal care throughout Wales are some of the reasons that last year the NAW Children and Young People Committee undertook a wide-ranging inquiry into the provision of neonatal care.
As a member of that committee I can say that few inquiries have surprised, shocked or angered committee members so much.
Accepted, we are not medical practitioners but the evidence before us both written and oral spoke for itself.
Special care baby units come in three levels with level three, currently at Singleton, being for the sickest babies.
The evidence showed a service under financial pressure, teams of nurses and doctors running to cover massive staffing and training shortfalls, families in distress, the specialist unit at Singleton often full, an absence of coherent and consistent planning across health boards, and scant regard for the rurality of many communities.
I do not see how the decision to site the new SCBU at Glangwili meets recommendation 13 of the inquiry that the Welsh Government ensures local health boards take transport transfer times into account.
Furthermore the level two is an “aspiration” already – it may not happen because of recruitment and training issues.
So we lose what we have now and inevitably in order to support the new SCBU, paediatricians will be sucked over to Carmarthen which in turn will affect the provision of obstetrics and gynaecology and eventually A&E.