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Future of paediatric services at Glangwili and Withybush to be decided this week

HYWEL DDA University Health Board says it has received the final independent evaluation report following the end of its 12-week public consultation on potential changes to urgent and emergency children and Young People’s (Paediatric) services in Glangwili and Withybush Hospitals.

The report was commissioned from, and written by, Opinion Research Services (ORS), who have independently advised, collated, and managed the consultation responses.

Held between the 26 May and 24 August 2023, the consultation invited the public, health board staff, partner organisations, and the wider community to share their views on how paediatric services should be delivered.

Following the temporary changes to paediatric services made since 2016, the health board now needs to find a longer-term solution, that will be in place until the proposed new urgent and planned care hospital is developed.

Consultation respondents were presented with and asked to consider three options for changes to the current services provided at Withybush and Glangwili Hospitals. At this stage, there is not a preferred option for how urgent and emergency paediatric services at will be delivered in the future.

Professor Phil Kloer, Executive Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “For all three options, it is important to note that access to children’s emergency care will be retained at Glangwili Hospital’s emergency department, and minor injuries for children will continue to be treated at both Withybush and Glangwili hospitals. Also, systems are already in place to ensure that any child or young person with critical conditions arriving at Withybush Hospital has the best care available and in the most appropriate place. This will continue as part of the new service.”

As part of the formal consultation, a number of health board stakeholder groups were asked to take part in a process called conscientious consideration. This involved them reading the ORS report alongside all other evidence and relevant information collated during the process so far, considering the available options, and then evaluating them. In doing so, they were asked if there were any further changes the health board should consider, whether the report has identified all equality issues, and any final points that had not already been captured. This process is ongoing.

The ORS final report, together with the output of the conscientious consideration process, and the technical and commercial reports, will be considered at a meeting of the Board on Thursday 30 November 2023 at 9.30am. During this meeting, the health board’s Board members will also be asked to conscientiously consider the key findings from the ORS report alongside the findings from the stakeholder groups’ own considerations. The Board will then make a decision on which option to proceed with.

Lee Davies, Executive Director of Strategy and Planning for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The health board would like to thank the community, staff, partner organisations and everyone that took the time to meet with us and share their views during this consultation process. The Board looks forward to the next steps in the consultation process as it considers all the feedback received.”

The meeting of the board is available for public viewing, details of how to do so can be found on the health board’s website: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/about-us/your-health-board/board-meetings-2023/board-agenda-and-papers-30-november-20232/ The Board papers that will be discussed at the meeting, are also available at the same link.

For further information on the consultation, please visit the health board’s website: https://hduhb.nhs.wales/future-children-services

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