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Pensioner became 'increasingly unwell' after surgery

An inquest has today been hearing how a pensioner died after an operation at Withybush hospital in Pembrokeshire.

Malcolm Green was said to have become increasingly unwell after undergoing surgery for cancer. The hospital has already said there were failings in the level of the care in his treatment. Kevin Ashford reports.

Inquest to begin into death of man at Withybush Hospital

Malcolm Green
Malcolm Green died after an operation at Withybush Hospital in June 2012 Credit: Martin Green

A three day inquest opens today into the death of an 82 year-old man who died at Withybush Hospital two years ago.

Malcolm Green's family say he became increasingly unwell after undergoing surgery for bowel cancer in June 2012.

They say staff failed to notice the deterioration in his condition and that he died of internal bleeding and organ failure because the surgeon who was supposed to be treating him left to go to a meeting.

The hospital have admitted "avoidable and unacceptable delays" in his treatment.


Hywel Dda Health Board: 'safety net' will ensure patient safety after reforms to specialist baby care

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.

– Dr Sue Fish, Medical Director, Hywel Dda University Health Board

Minister confirms move to centralise specialist neonatal care in Hywel Dda Health Board area

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.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

An independent evaluation of the impact of the revised services will also be carried out in twelve months time.

Read Rob Osborne's blog: the case for and against

Decision time for neonatal services in West Wales: the case for and against

by Rob Osborne, Health Reporter
Withybush Hospital
Babies needed specialist care might no longer be treated at Withybush

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.


Minister to approve changes to specialist baby services

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.

Outbreak of seasonal flu restricts visitors

A hospital in Pembrokeshire is closed to afternoon visitors after an outbreak of seasonal flu. Evening visiting at Withybush General Hospital will continue but visitor numbers will be limited to two per patient.

Hywel Dda Health Board says the restrictions are in place so that nursing and medical activity can be carried out during the afternoon.

It is important that anyone who has flu like symptoms does NOT visit the hospital. If you have had flu-like symptoms in the previous 5 days you should not visit the hospital as this would put our patients and staff at risk.

– Dr Iain Robertson Steel, Hospital Director of Clinical Care

Withybush Hospital visiting restrictions remain

People are being asked to not to visit Withybush Hospital until Monday due to an ongoing outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting.

A hospital spokesperson said family members can receive updates about their relatives from nursing staff over the telephone.

We are hoping the worse of the outbreak is over but we are asking visitors not to come to the hospital to protect patients and reduce the spread of infection. People may not be aware they are carrying the bug as they have no symptoms but it can still be passed onto vulnerable patients so we are urging people to respect the visiting restrictions while they are in place.

– Sandra Wilson, Assistant General Manager

New dialysis unit for Withybush Hospital

Work will get underway today on the new £7.5million 21 bay state of the art Renal Dialysis Unit proposed for Withybush Hospital. The new unit is expected to open its doors to its first patents in February 2014.

The unit will be the most energy efficient and environmental sustainable building of its kind in the UK and will remove the need for patients to travel out of Pembrokeshire to receive dialysis treatment.

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