Back in 2014 the Health Boards in South Wales undertook a large-scale public consultation exercise (South Wales Programme (SWP)) exploring options to address the challenges faced by many hospitals in recruiting and retaining highly skilled staff in consultant-led obstetrics, paediatrics and emergency medicine and provide the best possible care for patients.
There were a number of outcomes to the consultation that were significant for the Royal Glamorgan Hospital including changes to the workforce in A&E; development of the hospital as a beacon site for acute medicine and the establishment of a Diagnostic Hub. All of these changes have been fully implemented with benefits for patients already being delivered.
The consultation also determined that consultant-led maternity and paediatric inpatient services would no longer be delivered at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
In recent months we have been working with staff and the public to prepare for these changes and we are now in a position to confirm that the changes to maternity services will take place from Saturday, March 9th, 2019.
This means that from this date:
- All antenatal services, clinic appointments, scans and tests in pregnancy will still be available in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital exactly as they are now. The only difference is the services that will be available to you when you go into labour.
- Maternity services will still be provided 24 hours a day at Royal Glamorgan Hospital but they will be provided by midwives, and not by doctors. You can choose to have your baby in either hospital, but if you have a complicated pregnancy or need doctor-led care when you are giving birth you will need to deliver at Prince Charles Hospital.
- Women who are likely to need specialist medical care when in labour and babies needing specialist neonatal care will be treated at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
To prepare for the changes, we have invested £6m in Prince Charles Hospital to increase the size of the special care baby unit, re-develop two delivery theatres, and create new ensuite delivery rooms to include one birthing pool. There will also be a refurbished Alongside Midwifery Unit which will include four birthing suites with two birthing pools.
We attach some photographs of the new Unit to give you a sense of the fantastic new facility that will be in place to support women, their partners and babies at such an important time in their lives.
The planned changes to paediatric inpatient services will take place from 1st June 2019 and we will provide further detail on the arrangements over the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we will continue to communicate with staff and the public about these changes and as part of this work we will be hosting a Facebook Q&A with our CEO, Allison Williams, on Wednesday 27th February from 6pm to answer questions people may have.