South West Wales

Glangwili and Withybush midwife-led units open

Protest at Senedd
Image caption The changes to maternity care sparked protests at the Senedd

Controversial plans to centralise specialist maternity care in west Wales come into effect on Monday.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is implementing the change, which involves moving care for complex births from Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.

The changes sparked protests against the health board.

However, it claims the units will provide a homely and relaxed atmosphere for expectant mothers.

New facilities were created after it was announced consultant-led services at Withybush Hospital would close.

From Monday, midwife-led units will operate at both hospitals.

Image copyright Hywel Dda University Health Board
Image caption £3m has been spent on the new facilities at the two hospitals

If there is concern births will not be straight-forward, or any women experiencing complications, will be transferred to a consultant-led unit at Glangwili. All special care baby services will also be based there.

An extra ambulance will also be based at Withybush Hospital to transport a mother or baby to the unit if needed.

Plans to remove overnight paediatric services from Withybush have been delayed until October after objections from senior doctors.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay in June to protest against the health board's reorganisation.

The local patients' watchdog also expressed concerns the move could put lives at risk.

Hywel Dda University Health Board and the Welsh government said the changes will provide a better level of care.

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