Mums’ horror at hospital’s lack of paediatricians at Singleton Hospital
MUMS were “horrified” to find their babies had been born in Singleton Hospital with no paediatricians present.
They are said to be fully behind moving all services from mums and babies across the city to Morriston Hospital.
And because there were no adverse comments to the idea during an extensive public engagement exercise, it’s likely to be approved without the need for formal public consultation.
However, the future of another hospital — Gellinudd in the Swansea Valley — is not as cut and dried, and that will probably go out to consultation in the spring of this year.
It’s all part of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board’s vision of the future of services in this area, called Changing For The Better, or C4B.
This runs in parallel to, and sometimes overlaps with, the wider South Wales Programme.
Both are aimed at providing the best possible care within the resources available, and to find ways of coping with shortages of doctors in certain important specialities.
Last year ABMU embarked on an extensive engagement exercise into C4B to explain potential future scenarios to residents, staff and others, and to gauge their reactions.
This exercise included 19 drop-in events across the board area, held between September and December.
One of the biggest potential changes to this area could see Singleton losing obstetrics (childbirth and the treatment of women before and after childbirth) and neonatal (newborn babies) intensive care to Morriston.
Morriston is already home to children’s wards and a paediatric unit.
ABMU’s assistant director of planning Joanne Davies said: “There was very little noise in any of the Swansea events around (moving obstetrics to Morriston). It didn’t get a mention.
“In discussions we had with the maternity services liaison committee and with recent mothers, there was very strong support for that.
“A number of the mums hadn’t realised paediatricians are not still based in Singleton.
“They were quite horrified when they discovered they had just had their babies in Singleton, because that was perceived to be where complex births went, and there were no paediatricians on-site.”
Addressing a meeting of patient watchdog ABM Community Health Council, Ms Davies said mums were asked whether they expected services to be brought under one roof. Their answer, she said, was: “Obviously - why haven’t you done it yet?”
“There was quite strong support for that and definitely no concerns raised,” she said.
It’s now up to the CHC to decide which aspects of C4B can be implemented without the need for consultation and which of those require it.
Given the lack of opposition to the obstetrics shift, that will almost certainly be nodded through, although ABMU has emphasised the changes will be several years away.
On the other hand, concern over the future of Gellinudd suggests that will require consultation.
CHC chief officer Phil Williams said a meeting with ABMU officers would take place in mid-February.
“Then the CHC will agree what can move forward and what will have to go out to consultation,” he added.