Our questions answered...
THE Star put the following questions to Hywel Dda Health Board in an attempt to find out more about the proposed changes to Prince Philip Hospital.
Q. Which hospital should you to go to if you cannot diagnose what the problem is?
A. Under the health board's preferred option, emergency medical and minor injury patients would continue to be seen at Prince Philip Hospital. Other patients, for example emergency surgery patients, would be taken or transferred to the nearest hospital to best meet their needs, as they are now. The ambulance service and GPs would refer emergency medical patients — eg strokes, infections, diabetes and asthma attacks — directly into the emergency medical assessment unit. Those with minor injuries or illnesses — cuts, sprains, very minor burns — would be seen in the local accident centre by a highly skilled and specialist emergency nurse practitioner. If a patient with a surgical need walked into the local accident centre, they would be transferred, as occurs currently.
Q. What can be treated definitively at PPH safely if you go there under your own steam?
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A. As is the case now, emergency medical patients and patients with minor illnesses and injuries would be assessed and treated at Prince Philip Hospital.
Q. What cannot be treated at PPH?
A. Prince Philip Hospital does not have all the essential back-up services required for a fully-operational A&E department — for example, emergency surgery, trauma, paediatrics, gynaecology and ENT. Currently these patients are taken directly to the nearest hospital to best meet their needs or if they walk into the unit, then they are assessed and transferred if necessary.
Q. Is the Medical Assessment Unit open 24/7?
Q. Will there be adequate transport 24/7 for people being sent home from hospital and between hospitals.
A. People requiring transport between hospitals for medical emergencies will be transported by the NHS. We are currently working with partners and the voluntary sector to investigate how we can help support those who need transport home after attending an emergency department at night to ensure they get home safely.