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Health board will discuss temporary changes to children's hospital services

Child blowing bubbles

23 September 2022

Hywel Dda University Health Board will discuss changes to children’s (paediatric) hospital services in the south of the area since 2014, in its next meeting on Thursday 29 September.

The Board will receive an assessment of the temporary changes made at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, and Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen. This includes a timeline, the reasons for change, data on patient safety, and consideration of the feedback and experience from patients, their families and carers, and staff.

Next week, Board Members will be asked to note the paper and support the next steps to develop options for provision of children’s hospital services until a new urgent and planned care hospital is opened, currently predicted to take until at least 2029 to open.

The clinically led option appraisal will involve the voice of multi-disciplinary teams, as well as children and young people, and their parents or guardians/carers. The Health is aiming for equal representation for staff and others, inclusive of service users, representatives and third sector and geographically representative of the areas served.

It will include work to agree what are the most important criteria for choosing how to deliver children’s hospital services and an assessment of viable options.

The following temporary changes are reviewed in the report:

  • December 2016 change in the opening hours of the daytime Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Withybush Hospital from 10am-10pm seven days a week, to 10am-6pm seven days a week. Also, the temporary merger of the overnight consultation on-call rotas for Glangwli and Withybush hospitals, into one rota based at Glangwili Hospital. This change was due to significant recruitment challenges, limiting the availability of on-site consultant support and supervision needed in the PACU at Withybush Hospital
  • March 2020 change of transferring the staff, equipment and services of the Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Withybush Hospital to care for patients across the south of the area at Glangwili Hospital. This was to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • September 2021 extension to the temporary arrangement due to there being an anticipated surge in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).


General findings contained in the issue paper show very low numbers of patient safety incidents and formal complaints in relation to the temporary service changes.

The health board has recently invited, children, young people and families who have used children’s hospital services in recent years, to share their views and experiences.

There has also been an analysis of patient feedback throughout the service changes.

The report acknowledges a large amount of feedback and requests asked for services to return to Withybush Hospital, but there were different views on what those services should be and how they should be delivered.

Deputy Chief Executive and Medical Director Professor Philip Kloer said: “We hope the robustness of this ongoing review, along with the options development for the interim service with input from our clinicians and public representatives, will provide reassurance that we are scrutinising and properly planning interim hospital services for children that are safe, accessible, sustainable and kind. We will continue to keep our communities up-to-date with our service development.”

The Board will consider, likely in its November 2022 meeting and following discussion with the Community Health Council, the outcome of the option appraisal process and if engagement or consultation on the future of the interim service is necessary.

If you have general views about the way children’s services are delivered now and in the future, which you want to be considered during the review, you can visit our continuous engagement site Dweud Eich Dweud Have Your Say pages at: (opens in a new tab)  

You can also register here if you have an interest in taking part in future engagement activities, such as workshops. The next workshops are due to take place on 6th and 20th October 2022.

If you are a child, young person, parent or guardian/carer who wants to provide us with specific feedback on your experience of care with the Health Board, age appropriate questionnaires are available on our children’s wards. You can also complete a questionnaire online via our patient support service webpages, just search ‘‘feedback’ on: (opens in a new tab)

More information on our children’s services and what our hospitals and community services offer, are available from: (opens in a new tab) 

To view the Board papers, or to access a link to watch the meeting on the day, please visit: (opens in a new tab)