ABMU to consider ending emergency medical admissions at Singleton Hospital
HEALTH chiefs are to review the future of emergency medical admissions at Single- ton Hospital.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is looking at the possibility of axing unscheduled admissions as part of its ongoing Changing For The Better (C4B) programme.
Talks will take place with health watchdogs once any proposals are finalised, to decide if consultation is needed.
ABMU says there is clear clinical consensus for having a centralised service in the Swansea area (at Morriston), for safety and sustainability reasons.
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Potential changes to hospital services in the ABMU area were set out in the original C4B document published last year.
One service the board said needed to be looked at in more detail was Singleton's acute medical services for patients referred by their GPs as emergencies, not including strokes and heart attacks.
It said: "Depending on the future pattern of unscheduled care services, we need to decide if we can continue this service in the future, bearing in mind the difficulties we have recruiting doctors and the requirements of quality standards.
"We are doing more work to understand how a redesigned clinical service could work effectively and safely for the future."
Watchdogs on ABM Comm- unity Health Council's executive committee have met to consider the C4B proposals.
CHC chief officer Phil Williams has told ABMU the committee noted the plans to review unscheduled (acute) medical admissions to Singleton.
"It also notes there is a clear clinical consensus that the health board should only have one hospital accepting acute medical admissions in the Swansea area for safety and sustainability in the future," said Mr Williams.
"However, the committee accepts that the implications of any change need to be carefully thought through and it looks forward to engaging with (ABMU) in the development of plans and new service models as the work progresses.
"Subject to the outcome of this process, the CHC will consider the engagement and consultation requirements."
Acute medicine was withdrawn from Neath Port Talbot Hospital last year, but without consultation as it was classed as an emergency service change owing to a shortage of suitable doctors.
The CHC has already decided there is no need for consultation on some C4B proposals.
These include the transfer of Singleton's obstetrics service (childbirth and the treatment of women before and after birth) and neonatal (newborn babies) intensive care to Morriston.
But it has required consultation on the possible closure of Pontardawe's Gellinudd Hospital and the transfer of the last remaining ward at Cimla Hospital to Neath Port Talbot.