CARE for children and young people will continue in Withybush Hospital after the health board met to decide on the future of paediatric care in west Wales.

Hywel Dda University Health Board had been running a consultation earlier this year which involved three potential options for how paediatric care is delivered to sick children and young people across the region.

The options revolved around Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest and Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.

On November 30, the health board’s board members met to discuss the outcome of the consultation and the reports and decided that option one would be the best option. This option would see additional outpatient services for children and young people at Withybush Hospital but would not include a paediatric ambulatory care unit (PACU).

The option was chosen by the health board after extensive consideration of the consultation report that was put together and analysed by Opinion Research Services (ORS) as well as the equalities health impact assessment and the scoring of the options by stakeholders and feedback from the conscientious consideration process.

The board decided that by choosing the first option they were focusing on the necessity to provide and assure the consistency, quality and safety of care for children and their families.

Professor Phil Kloer, executive medical director and deputy chief executive officer at the health board, said: “The decision made today is a step towards confirming the sustainability of our future paediatric services. By choosing to progress option one, we will continue to develop and improve upon the current service in Pembrokeshire and our work towards creating a better health service and a healthier mid and west Wales.

“All options presented and considered today represent an enhancement of services currently provided at Withybush Hospital and to the local community.”

Lee Davies, the health board’s executive director of strategy and planning, said: “We are very grateful to members of the public, staff, partner organisations, and the wider community for their active participation in the public consultation process regarding the future of children and young people’s urgent and emergency care services at Withybush and Glangwili hospitals. Their insights and feedback were taken into account during the board’s discussions and decision-making process.

“The decision today will provide certainty and clarity to parents, patients, and staff within Pembrokeshire as to what their future paediatric service will be. The health board will also undertake further work to explore the transport issues that have been raised as part of the consultation process.

“The health board looks forward to continued collaboration with all stakeholders and communities as we work together towards the creation of a sustainable and comprehensive healthcare model for the region.”

A plan will now be made to map out what needs to happen and the planned timescale to move from the current service to the future service.