Hywel Dda University Health Board Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer has issued a statement on paediatric services in Pembrokeshire. He said:
“We will discuss our ability to deal with both the ongoing pandemic and to care for the increasing numbers of children very unwell, due to respiratory virus’ being experienced across the country, in the next full Board meeting of Hywel Dda University Health Board on 30th September 2021.
“This will include a recommendation for the clearest possible advice to our public about when and how they can access unplanned healthcare services for children.
“It is not a proposal to make a further change to children’s hospital services at Withybush Hospital, beyond considering if we continue the COVID-19 temporary position put in place in March 2020, for a further agreed period of time.
“This involved the temporary relocation of the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Withybush Hospital to Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen. During this period of time, if a child or young person under 16 is sick or injured, we would ask people to follow the advice issued since the temporary change last year**.
“Any decision about the provision of health care to children in our community will be based on their safety and will have their clinical interests as a priority. We will need to review the longer term future of paediatric services, next year, and we will consider a range of data, including patient and family experiences. We will also engage with and involve the community, as well as health care partners and public representatives, so they can share their views with us for consideration.
“A further update will be provided following the Board meeting.”
*Hywel Dda University Health Board meetings are held online and can be watched by members of the public. The next meeting is at 9.30am on Thursday September 30 and more information, including a link to the meeting can be found here: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/about-us/your-health-board/board-meetings-2021/board-agenda-and-papers-30th-september-2021/
**Advice for parents and carers in Pembrokeshire if your child is unwell, in full here –
Do not delay in seeking advice and treatment if your child is unwell or injured.
As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU) at Withybush General Hospital is being used for the COVID-19 response
Children with minor injuries will still be able to access care at Withybush but parents of children with unknown symptoms are asked to either contact their local GP, out of hours services via NHS 111 – you may be advised to take your child to Glangwili Hospital Emergency Department if paediatric specialists may need to input
For children with emergency conditions, parents or carers are asked to dial 999.
Once an assessment has been made, if your child requires admission staff will explain that one parent can be resident on the ward, due to restrictions that we have imposed as part of our COVID-19 response.
At Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, we will continue to see children in the emergency department or direct to the children assessment area. Once assessed if your child requires admission the staff will direct you to the ward.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced a helpful guide for parents (https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf) to understand when to seek advice and treatment for their child.
Most children who become unwell at this time won’t need to visit hospital and if your child’s physical or mental health is worrying you, your GP practice or 111 NHS Wales are also available to help. Remember that all of these services are still providing the care that you need, but in different ways to help keep you and your child safe. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced a helpful guide for parents (https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf) to understand when to seek advice and treatment for their child.