Hospital Transport Service a “God-Send” to Pembroke mum
A mother-of-three from Monkton, Pembroke, has praised the Family Support Transport Service for the invaluable support they provided during her pregnancy.
Mum to 10-year-old Chloe, 4-year-old David and 3-month-old Nico, 28-year-old Bethan has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and finds it extremely difficult to use public transport even with the support of her partner - Mark Jones - who is also Bethan’s carer. She said: “Having access to the transport service helped to ease my anxiety around public transport. I find it difficult to use public transport at the best of times, being heavily pregnant made it impossible.”
Bethan’s pregnancy with baby Nico wasn’t straightforward and left her needing extra health care: “My pregnancy with Nico wasn’t easy; I was diagnosed with anaemia, gestational diabetes, a vitamin B12 deficiency and symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). On top of that I was emotional with pregnancy hormones which made my BPD worse. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it to my appointments without the transport service.
“I’d never been to Glangwili Hospital before and didn’t know my way around. The drivers were so helpful; the first time I visited for an appointment the driver walked me to the department so I didn’t get stressed.
“Because of the gestational diabetes I also had to give birth in Glangwili Hospital. The thought of that was very daunting but all of the drivers were so polite and lovely and made me feel very comfortable. The man who drove me home after I gave birth to Nico even helped carry my bags!
“The service has been a God-send to me and to my family. I can’t recommend it any more highly than I have.”
Bethan has also praised Flying Start Midwife, Linda Peacock, for arranging her access to the Family Support Transport Service: “Linda was just brilliant, she was so much more to me than just a midwife.”
Linda commented: “The service is fantastic. It is an invaluable help to families who do not have access to their own transport or have specific needs.”
The Family Support Transport Service is provided by Action for Children in partnership with Hywel Dda University Health Board to offer transport support for Pembrokeshire families using women and children’s services in Carmarthen. The service is available Monday-Friday 9am-9pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9am-4pm. It is primarily used for planned appointments or for transport home following an emergency admission.
They also have the ability to call on alternative transport provision should they be unable to provide the service themselves, for example at peak periods, to ensure that vulnerable families receive transport when required.
Chief Executive of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Steve Moore, explained: “Whilst we know there remains significant concern and desire in Pembrokeshire to see all paediatric services re-instated at Withybush Hospital, we are as a health board looking at what we can do to strengthen services for children at the hospital and how we can make things easier for families when they do need to travel.
“We hope that Bethan’s story will raise awareness of the transport support that is available both amongst staff who advise and assist patients, and the wider public.”
Action for Children work very closely with the Midwife Led Units and Paediatric Ambulatory Care Units at Withybush and Glangwili hospitals and also link with Emergency Departments and community midwives when they require transport for children and young families. Referrals are made through your Consultant or Midwife; if you feel you need extra support please make contact with them.
Visit our new transport page for more information about the options available:www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/transport
Photo: Bethan with her partner, Mark, and baby Nico aged 2-days-old.