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New specialist care unit delivered for unwell babies

25 January 2022

A new specialist unit to care for some of the most vulnerable newborn babies has officially opened at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

The new Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) is part of a £25.2m Welsh Government investment into a new development scheme to obstetric and neonatal facilities at the hospital and will serve families across mid and west Wales.

The state-of-the-art unit has been purpose built with the focus being on the baby and their family, and the neonatal team.

The new family friendly unit will continue to provide high dependency and special care level of care to premature and unwell newborn babies with improved facilities and modern technology.

The clinical space meets national guidance which respects family privacy and dignity. There are four en suite overnight rooms for parents and a family sitting room.

The clinical area and the staff facilities will improve the working environment for the neonatal team and will be beneficial to their wellbeing. The new facilities include an appropriate area for teaching and multi-disciplinary working.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: ”The new facilities will support families during a time when they need it most. I’m pleased that Welsh Government funding has been used to create the new centre and will provide state of the art facilities for the community and for the neonatal team to provide vital care.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive, Hywel Dda University Health Board thanked all involved in the project: “It’s wonderful to see the new unit open for babies and their families.

“The improved facilities are part of our continued investment in women and children’s services and will provide a much enhanced environment for special care babies across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

“I wish to personally thank everyone involved in this project for their dedication and hard work over recent years. I also extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to equipment for the unit through incredible fundraising efforts and generous donations. Thank you all.”

Lisa Humphrey, Interim General Manager for Women and Children’s Services, Hywel Dda University Health Board commented: “As project director I would like to thank all of the parents, staff and the contractors for their contribution to the delivery of this scheme.

“Having an up-to-date unit enhances the delivery of high quality care that the team already provide in an environment that improves well-being for babies, their families and staff.”

Karen Jones, Senior Nurse, Special Care Baby Unit added: “We would like to thank families who have kindly donated money to enable us to purchase medical equipment such as oxygen monitors and a monitor to assist with monitoring brain activity. We have also purchased items for the family and staff sitting rooms and furnishings for the quiet room.

“The neonatal team are looking forward to moving into the new unit, which is spacious and light with excellent facilities for staff and parents. The environment is much improved from the previous SCBU with lovely facilities for parents to be close to their babies.”

The next stage in the project, which will see the opening of the new Maternity Ward, is expected to be completed in spring 2022.