Border problems

First published in Letters

Dear Editor,

I have been following SWAT and the debate about the special baby unit closures at Withybush Hospital, but we need to realise that if we live on the borders of the three counties we all have a problem.

I recently had gall bladder problems, I had ultrasound and examinations at Withybush but as there were other complications had to have my operation in West Wales General. A few days after the operation I started feeling unwell so went to my local GP who told me I had to go immediately to hospital, on phoning West Wales General he was told all the wards were closed, although there was a bed in Prince Philip, Llanelli I asked if he could try Withybush as this was only a 40 minute drive from home and not well over an hour. He made enquiries and said if I went straight to Withybush accident and emergency unit with an overnight bag they would admit me, when we got there I was getting worse and when eventually I was seen there was some disagreement on whether I should have been there or not, and I was grudgingly told that they would get a doctor to examine me, unfortunately (or fortunately) my condition worsened and I was put into the ITC unit, from then on my treatment was exemplary. But I do wonder what would happened to me had we been sent on the long 50 mile drive to Llanelli.

Apart from the danger to life, it also means that visiting relatives face a very long round trip which ever hospital you are sent to from Cardigan, 56 miles round trip to Withybush, 60 miles Carmarthen and 100 miles Llanelli. You still need things brought in, clean night clothes, towels etc apart from them needing to check on you and communicate with the doctors and nursing staff. As it was I was in Withybush for nearly two weeks, the nursing & auxiliary staff were fantastic and I can’t praise them enough, also their treatment of the elderly patients on my ward (4) was second to none.

I would also like to praise Cardigan Health Centre, particularly Dr Cole who initially sent me back into hospital and who looked after me on my discharge, this situation clearly does not make our doctors’ lives any easier.

Today I received an appointment for a follow up scan to make sure everything is ok, where was it from - Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth! This situation really does need sorting out and the sooner the better.

Mrs Jo Hutchings

Belfield, Longdown Bank, St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

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