Have your say on neonatal services in Wales

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The Health, Well-being and Local Government Committee are beginning an inquiry into neonatal services in Wales.

Of the 33 thousand babies born in Wales each year, four thousand are admitted to Wales’s 13 specialist units.

The Committee will examine whether these units have sufficient funding and staff to cope with the increased demand, which may emerge with increased birth rates.

Chair of the Health, Well-being and Local Government Committee Darren Millar AM said: “The staff in neonatal units are caring for the most fragile and dependent people there are – premature and low birth-weight babies.

“It is essential they have adequate resources and support to cope with increasing demand and these are two of the main questions the Committee will examine in this inquiry.

“Inquiries such as these are always very emotional affairs both for the Committee members and for those giving evidence. But I would urge anyone who has experience of neonatal services in Wales, whether positive or negative, to have their say.”

The Committee will examine the following areas as part of its inquiry:

– Arrangements for monitoring the implementation of the All Wales Neonatal Standards, in line with the British Association of Perinatal Medicine’s staffing standards and the Health Commission Wales review.

– The Welsh Government’s long-term strategy for improving neonatal care and whether it is seen as an integrated part of maternity services.

– Consideration of how the Welsh Government plans to increase the number of neonatal nurses, midwives and neonatal consultants.

– Funding arrangements for the development of round-the-clock access to dedicated neonatal transport services available to all units in Wales.

– Increased support for parents.

– The impact of NHS reforms on neonatal services in Wales.

– Screening for hearing loss.

Anyone wishing to submit evidence to the inquiry can email health.wellbeing.localgovt.comm@wales.gsi.gov.uk or by post to: Clerk, Health, Wellbeing and Local Government Committee, National Assembly for Wales, CF99 1NA.

Source: National Assembly of Wales

Related News: Inquiry into neonatal units

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