Hywel Dda University Health Board says it welcomes today’s announcement on restructuring specialist baby care services, saying the proposals will make women and children’s services "safe and sustainable".
We understand there is concern and as our planning develops following today’s announcement, we will undertake an extensive programme of communications to ensure everyone understands what the changes will mean and when they will happen.
We are aware of particular cases being raised across the media. We are very clear that neither the Health Board nor the Minister would ever put forward an unsafe service and the safety net the Minister talked about – with Consultants available for the rare emergency whilst the model develops – will ensure patients are safe.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed proposals to restructure specialist neonatal care in West Wales.
- A Level 2 Neonatal Unit is established at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.
- 'Midwifery-led' obstetric and maternity services at Bronglais and Withybush hospitals.
- Consultant obstetric support to remain at Withybush until the new model is established.
- A 'phased introduction' for the plans.
Teams based at Glangwili would provide 24/7 emergency care across the entire Health Board area.
The changes come after a panel of experts concluded the restructure would 'provide an improved service for mothers and babies'.
The panel has set out a number of important provisos and recommend a phased introduction of the new model. These include robust ‘safety net’ arrangements to provide midwives with skilled assistance in the event of an unexpected emergency. There must also be robust emergency transfer arrangements, and the midwife-led units must be developed according to strict guidelines.
An independent evaluation of the impact of the revised services will also be carried out in twelve months time.
A mother whose son spent six weeks at Withybush Hospital's Special Care Baby Unit has spoken of her fears the unit may be removed.Read the full story ›
What happens when you can't fill a work rota? Maybe there's a few extra tasks to pick up or somebody is called in as temporary cover. Those solutions are fine for an office but for a hospital it's a lot more complex.
In some highly complex areas like neonatal care, vacancies are not uncommon and it puts pressure on trainee doctors. There is demand for doctors to work at night in one hospital, not spread over different locations.
A proposed solution in West Wales has been to move services for the most complex births away from Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest to Glangwili Hospital around 30 miles away. Later today the Health Minister is expected to endorse those plans.
How you view this depends on which side of the fence you sit. Hospital managers believe it move would provide better and safer care. Opponents say it would endanger lives. The health board - Hywel Dda has said some maternity services would remain at the hospital.
In making his decision Mark Drakeford is likely to point at expert advise he has received but protesters are highly unlikely to accept it. The threat of legal action from campaigners hang over this decision. Today is unlikely to be the end of the story.
The Health Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to approve plans to change specialist baby services in Haverfordwest later.
The Hywel Dda Health Board wants to move special care away from Withybush hospital to another 30 miles away.
The health board says that changes are needed in order to provide a safe level of care.
A mental health charity has slammed supermarket giant Tesco for a motivational poster for staff at its store in Haverfordwest - which showed a man pretending to shoot himself in the head.
The poster said "Goodbye Haverfordwest - It's Been Nice Knowing You!" alongside details of falling sales figures.
Tesco has now apologised and taken it down.
Ruth Coombs from Mind Cymru said: "We’re very disappointed to see this image and the lack of mental health awareness shown by Tesco. Suicide is a very serious issue, which affects hundreds of people each year."
A worker at the Haverfordwest store took a photo of the poster, and complained to managers.
He said: "It wasn't funny or inspirational - it was just a bit sick."
A Tesco spokesperson said: "This was clearly an error of judgement, in one store. The person responsible for the poster has apologised and it has been removed."
They've been around since the time of dinosaurs but there are fears that hedgehog numbers are in decline. It's thought tidy gardens and the use of chemicals may be among the factors. As they hibernate there are calls for all to be more hedgehog friendly.
Cardiff Council says it is 'disappointed' that St. Illtyd’s Catholic High School references outdated legislation in its policy on sex education.
In the online document, the school refers to the controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 - repealed a decade ago - which banned the 'promotion' of homosexuality by local authorities.
The Council is disappointed that the school still refers to out-of-date legislation in an important School Policy document and will be working with the Archdiocesan Authority, School Governing Body and the new Interim Executive Head teacher to correct this immediately.
Earlier today the Archdiocese of Cardiff said the school will review the wording of the policy.
The Director of Stonewall Cymru has called the now-overturned Section 28 a 'spiteful, harmful piece of legislation' - as two Welsh schools come under scrutiny for appearing to reference it in their sex education policies.
Wales led the way by effectively repealing Section 28 in 2002 - a full year before Westminster.
It’s a real shame that the Welsh schools in question haven’t updated their policy in the past decade.
Regardless of whether a policy is lapsed, if it appears on a school website it forms part of that school’s message to parents and young people.
We are reassured that the schools named have now committed updating their communications.
St. Illtyd’s Catholic High School in Cardiff says it will review the wording of its online policy on sex education, which makes reference to the now-repealed Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988.
The controversial legislation, which stopped councils 'promoting' homosexuality, was overturned by Tony Blair 10 years ago.
When the new term commences in September, Mrs Anne Robinson, Director of Schools, will ask the school's new Executive Headteacher to review the wording of the policy to ensure that it is fully compliant with the law.
The school was inspected in 2012 and this was not picked up on.
Meanwhile Tasker Milward VC School in Haverfordwest, has apologised for 'any distress caused' after an outdated policy on sex education was found to remain on its website. That policy has since been removed.