Accessing emergency children's services in Pembrokeshire

When your child is ill or injured, it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS 111 or go to the Emergency Department. With travel restrictions being relaxed in Wales, we anticipate that there will be an increase in the tourist population in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. Here is some guidance on accessing children’s services within our three counties:

  • Do not delay in seeking advice and treatment if your child is unwell or injured.
  • As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit (PACU) at Withybush General Hospital has been converted into an Adult Urgent Care Assessment area for the duration of the pandemic. Children with minor injuries will still be able to access care at Withybush but parents of children with unknown symptoms are asked to either contact their local GP, out of hours services via NHS 111, or take their child directly to Glangwili Hospital. For children with emergency conditions, parents are asked to dial 999.
  • To help keep you and your child safe at Glangwili Hospital, we have set up a new temporary Paediatric Assessment Area adjacent to the Emergency Department that will assess children in a separate facility to Adults. This area is for children who attend from General Practitioners, Out of Hours, Welsh Ambulance and walk in admissions and will see children with illnesses. For injury, your child will be directed via minor injuries or Emergency Department. Once an assessment has been made, if your child requires admission staff will explain that one parent can be resident on the ward, due to restrictions that we have imposed as part of our COVID-19 response.
  • At Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth, we will continue to see children in the emergency department or direct to the children assessment area. Once assessed if your child requires admission the staff will direct you to the ward.

Most children who become unwell at this time won’t need to visit hospital and if your child’s physical or mental health is worrying you, your GP practice or 111 NHS Wales are also available to help. Remember that all of these services are still providing the care that you need, but in different ways to help keep you and your child safe. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has produced a helpful guide for parents (https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-04/covid19_advice_for_parents_when_child_unwell_or_injured_poster.pdf) to understand when to seek advice and treatment for their child.

Mrs Paula Evans, Head of Nursing for Paediatrics and Neonates as said that: “We understand that families will be anxious at this time if their child becomes unwell or injured. COVID-19 is worrying but there may be other reasons why your child might be unwell and it is important not to delay in getting care and treatment."

GP services, health visitors and immunisations

Your GP surgery can provide telephone triage and most have also introduced, or are in the process of introducing, an online consultation service called e-Consult. You can access this service by visiting your GP surgery’s website; follow the link to e-Consult then choose the “I want help for my child” option.

Our Health Visiting teams are also continuing to support families and new babies. If you are unable to reach your usual health visitor, please contact your local hub, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm:

  • Ceredigion – 07970 501609
  • Pembrokeshire – 07766 992316
  • Llanelli – 01554 742447
  • Amman/Gwendraeth & Carmarthen – 01554 899070

It is also important to keep up-to-date with your child’s vaccinations during this time. Parents with children under 5 years of age who are due their childhood immunisations should continue to attend appointments, as it is important to protect them from other diseases that may be circulating.

Mental health and wellbeing

Welsh mental health charity Hafal has developed resources for parents and carers to support conversations with young people about resilience and mental health. The Bloom Resource Library is available on their website: (https://mentalhealthuk.org/partnerships/bloom-resource-library) 

There are many helpful websites for parents/carers, children and young people, here a few:

  • A comprehensive information hub for children, young people, and families in Wales https://www.childcomwales.org.uk/coronavirus/
  • Meic can listen to you if you’re feeling worried and help you to feel better. You can call them or chat to them online www.meiccymru.org
  • NHS Wales symptom checker https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/selfassessments/
  • My Health Passport – free download available. For children and young people with learning disabilities and/or complex health needs, now is the perfect time to get a Health Passport. This is available to download for free in English or Welsh from https://widgit-health.com/downloads/my-health-passport.htm to help share important information about themselves when accessing care.