Hywel Dda University Health Board re-issuing advice to Pembrokeshire parents

Hywel Dda University Health Board is re-issuing advice to Pembrokeshire parents on how they can care, or access healthcare services, for unwell children in the lead up to the Christmas Bank Holidays.
The vast majority of unwell children are cared for at home by their families when they are unwell, and general advice on how to manage common childhood illness can be found on the NHS Direct website www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 46 47.
In the majority of cases, GPs and hospital Emergency Departments also care for children without needing to admit them into hospital.
GP out-of-hours services are available in Pembrokeshire overnight, on weekends and Bank Holidays for urgent care and are accessed by calling your usual GP telephone number. Withybush Hospital’s Emergency and Urgent Care Unit also provides 24 hour urgent care for children with minor injuries.
Clinical lead for Child and Adolecent Health Dr Simon Fountain-Polley explained: “Families generally look after their own children for the majority of acute illnesses. If they need advice they can access NHS Direct, community pharmacists, or their local GP.Most children, thankfully, don’t need to see the hospital paediatric team for acute illnesses. For that relatively small proportion of children who do, their GP can refer them into hospital services.”
For children who need paediatric input, there is a Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit at Withybush Hospital 10am-6pm and overnight care is provided from Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen. There is a dedicated ambulance vehicle for women and children’s transfers between Withybush and Glangwili and a parent or carer can remain with their child on transfer and on the wards.
The health board has issued a question and answer guide that may help parents with any questions they may have.
It follows temporary changes to PACU services at Withybush Hospital that were made recently due to a reduction in the availability of paediatric consultants. This has meant the opening hours have temporarily been reduced from the usual 10am-10pm daily to 10am-6pm daily. There will be one paediatric rota for the south of the Health Board covering Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. This means if there is a paediatric emergency out-of-hours at Withybush Hospital, the on-call paediatric consultants in Glanwgili Hospital offer remote advice to emergency and anaesthetic staff at Withybush Hospital.
What is PACU?
PACU stands for Paediatric Ambulatory Care Unit. About 75% of those children who are referred into Withybush Hospital PACU, are treated there and do not need to be transferred to another hospital. It provides care for children with sudden onset of pain, high temperatures, sickness, infections, or requirements for dressings, blood tests, x-rays or scans.
What about children who need to stay in hospital overnight?
Any Pembrokeshire children who need an overnight, inpatient stay in hospital, are transferred to Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen. There is a dedicated ambulance vehicle for women and children’s transfers between Withybush and Glangwili and a parent or carer can remain with their child on transfer and on the wards.
What about sick children who need assessment after 6pm?
Children who require paediatric assessment after 6pm are referred or transferred by ambulance to the PACU at Glangwili Hospital.
What about hospital appointments for children?
Scheduled care including procedures, tests and outpatient clinics continue at Withybush Hospital during the daytime.
What do you do if your child is unexpectedly sick at night?
Parents should continue to access care for their children as they do now.
If your child is unwell, you can do a number of things:
  • Call NHS Direct Wales – 0845 46 47 – they can advise you if you are unsure what to do, as well as provide health information on a wide range of conditions, treatment and local health services
  • Use your community pharmacy if open
  • Make an appointment with your GP as usual, including out-of- hours GP services, which are contacted through your normal GP telephone number
  • For a paediatric minor injury, go to Withybush Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) 24 hours a day
In an emergency, if your child is very sick, you should dial 999 for assistance. Children who present at Withybush Hospital out-of-hours will usually be transferred to Glanwgili Hospital for paediatric input. In the exceptional circumstance where emergency resuscitation is required, emergency and anaesthetic staff will resuscitate, stabilise, and arrange transfer onto another hospital.
What about families with open access? Families will retain open access to both WGH and GGH PACU as they do now.

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