1:37pm Thursday 13th March 2014
PLEASE find attached below an email which I sent to Mark Drakeford, Health Minister, reference his decision on Withybush SCBU and Maternity Units. I await an answer.
“I wrote to you some time ago with reference to the situation at Withybush Hospital and you replied that the decision hadn’t yet been made about the Special Care Baby Unit and Maternity Unit.
Well I believe that the decision has been made and your ‘advisors’ have agreed with Hywel Dda Health Board, SCBU is to be moved to Carmarthen and that £12m of tax-payers money is to be spent on a new Level 2 Neonatal Unit at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.
Did your ‘advisers’ mention that a Level 2 Neonatal Unit already exists in all but name at Withybush, a saving of £12m. I believe you refused to meet Mr Overton this morning in Cardiff. That was a pity as he would have given you a much better picture than your so-called ‘advisers’ as he and the other paediatricians on the ground are seriously concerned about the situation.
We have many travellers in Pembrokeshire and they don’t book in to see the midwife, they just turn up at the hospital. What of them?
Withybush midwives are equally concerned as it is they who will have to cope with serious situations. Why not listen to them? I live in Fishguard and getting to Carmarthen is bad enough from here but Aberystwyth?!
We are going to lose many babies (and mothers) on the road to Carmarthen and the idea that the Air Ambulance will be able to help out is ridiculous especially in the summer months.
Also the idea of a second helicopter is out of the question as the present one has to rely on charitable donations to keep going. No Mr Drakeford, this decision is going to come back and haunt you and the First Minister I’m afraid.
I hope you know what you’re doing.”
CAPT. CHRIS BURGE
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