Thursday, 25 July 2013

Neonatal Services at risk in Wales

Robin very kindly brought to my attention recent news stories relating to Neonatal Services at UHW and in the South wales area.

There has recently been a consultation in Wales, referred to as the 'South Wales Programme', which intends to centralise Neonatal and Maternity Services, reducing the number of available cots despite a recent article in the SW Echo stating that 'Since December 2011, the neonatal intensive care unit has been at or over capacity for around 32% of the time, with the greatest pressure said to be at critical care level.'

Having looked at the website for this consultation, I note they now have an 'Easy Read' option for people, rather than them having to attempt the medical jargon and b*llshit in the main consultation document. I honestly find it the most patronising piece of rubbish ever written!

Their reasoning for the changes are that trainee doctors would not see enough people and have a diverse enough education if there were several different units, however, surely doctors can travel if they are learning? Nursing staff regularly do shifts on different wards and sites in order to complete their training.

Once again we read the same old about 'the status quo is not an option'.

It seems they are setting up a 3 tier A&E service also, with the more acute services being offered at Morriston in Swansea and UHW (The Heath) in Cardiff. The user would call 999 as normal but the ambulance staff would have to decide which hospital they need to be at.

On the whole, the idea of a tiered A&E sounds good, however, people getting home from somewhere further away than their local hospital, isn't a good idea.

Reading through the main consultation document, it would appear that the onus is largely being passed to ambulance staff, as if the Ambulance service doesn't have enough to deal with!

The costs to the NHS itself will likely be minimal as it seems the majority of the changes will be undertakn by the Ambulance Service including having to hire more staff and properly training the staff it has dealing with 999 calls. I know, at present, ambulance control staff require no medical training and just follow an on-screen questionnaire. That would need to be addressed. Although I don't think it should ever have been allowed in the first place!

I must go to bed now, to be continued

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