MATERNITY and gynaecology services in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are to come under one delivery unit, rather than two, following a review.
All of Wales’s health boards have had to review their maternity services following a damning report into standards at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
“The report was really difficult and upsetting to read,” said Swansea Bay University Health Board member Gareth Howells at a meeting on May 30.
Mr Howells said 98% of patients and their families who responded to a survey said they would recommend maternity services in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot and there was a “strong reporting culture” among staff.
He said staff grievance levels were low, that two midwife positions were being advertised, and that various performance data was monitored regularly.
But Mr Howells, director of nursing and patient experience, described the management structure as “disaggregated” and said the change from two delivery units to one for maternity and gynaecology would take place by June 28.
Levels of foetal surveillance training, he added, would be increased.
The report before board members said maternity services had received 37 formal and 23 informal complaints during 2018-19, with only two of those remaining open.
Martyn Waygood, a non-officer board member, described the commitment and enthusiasm of maternity and gynaecology staff as “absolutely fantastic” following a visit.
He said staff relations “apear to be really good” – although staff numbers were raised as an issue – and that facilities were “clearly improving”.
But he said Singleton Hospital’s Ward Two, which is a mixed gynaecology and ophthalmology ward, had “challenges” and needed improved waiting areas and more emergency room availability.
He questioned whether maternity clinics could be held in the community.
His colleague Pam Wenger, the health board’s director of corporate governance, said: “It was good to see the care and compassion of staff.”
A visit to Neath Port Talbot Hospital’s gynaecology department is due to take place in two weeks.