IN DECEMBER 2014 my two year old grandson was admitted to the Children’s Ward in Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Nursing staff worked hard to reduce his temperature which was dangerously high.

That same evening the Children’s Ward was closed. No paediatrician. No nursing staff. Apparently this now happens every day that the ward has been open.

The hospitalised children of that ward were allocated to other hospitals and were to be ferried cross country by ambulance if/when an ambulance was available. There was absolutely no certainty when an ambulance might arrive. My grandson was to go to Carmarthen. My daughter and son -in -law drove 40 miles to Carmarthen that night with a child who was burning up with fever, choking and coughing until he vomited.

In 1989 the United Nations ratified the United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child - UNCRC. The UN invited all States and Countries to become signatories of the UNCRC and many did. In 1990 the UK became a signatory and stated that- “The UNCRC is a set of minimum standards. It is a leading international treaty and by ratifying it the UK has committed itself to giving Children the Rights and Protections contained in it.

All laws, policies and practices that relate to Children must be compatible with the Rights contained in UNCRC.”

The National Assembly for Wales has successfully integrated the UNCRC into its legislation “This landmark legislation was passed by the National Assembly for Wales with cross-party unanimous support . All Welsh Ministers have a duty to promote knowledge and understanding of the UNCRC.”

The Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Wales Keith Towler is reported to have said, “This ground breaking legislation is unique within the UK.”

In total there are 54 articles in UNCRC. Article 24 is of particular relevance and importance for our children in Wales. Below are three of its statements.

Article 24 1 “States Parties recognise the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.”

2b States Parties are “to ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care.”

2d States Parties are “to ensure appropriate prenatal and post-natal health care for mothers.”

My questions: Are the children in Pembrokeshire being deprived of their Rights according to Article 24 of UNCRC? Do the Minister of Health in Wales, the Chief Medical Officer, the Children’s Commissioner in Wales, and even the First Minister of Wales himself - do they realise that they are failing to follow Article 24? This time will the Local Health Board actually listen and respond to what the local people are demanding?