A first time mother has spoken out about the “cramped and overcrowded” conditions on the maternity ward at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr.
Alex Davies-Jones gave birth to her son, Sullivan, almost 3 weeks ago. She says the number of patients that staff had to treat was “overwhelming”.
She says she also experienced nurses and doctors openly crying about the amount of patients they had to treat in such “cramped” conditions.
The criticism comes following the merger of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board specialist maternity services.
The change which came into force on the 9th March means that any patient likely to need specialist medical care when in labour or a baby needing specialist neonatal care will now be admitted to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.
In response, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said they are “doing everything we possibly can to improve our maternity services and deliver quality care to women and their families”.
According to Alex, a Rhondda Cynon Taff Councillor, the maternity unit in Merthyr is just not coping with this increased demand and intimate examinations and procedures are being carried out in “unsuitable” conditions.
Despite Sullivan needing to stay in the neonatal unit for an extra 5 nights Alex was discharged less than 48 hours after having a Caesarean section with a nurse on duty admitting it was because of a shortage of beds.
Alex describes the care she received from the staff on the ward as “exceptional” but says experiencing such conditions and being discharged early did “take it’s toll” on her mental health.
Bethany Frowen also experienced similar conditions when admitted to the maternity ward at Prince Charles Hospital.
Again, despite the best efforts and care she received from the midwives Bethany describes the ward as “chaotic”.
Being her third child Bethany says there was a notable difference in how she felt upon being discharged.
On her first two children, which she had at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, she said that by the time she left both her and the baby had received all the relevant and necessary checks but there felt a distinct ‘lack of control’ this time, with her newborn, Efa being discharged without having a hearing test and knowing to have jaundice which subsequently became dangerously high and she was readmitted just over 24 hours later.
Bethany also feels that she was discharged too early and the reason she was discharged was became of the demand for beds.
She describes it as a very “stressful” experience.
In response to these claims Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said they are “doing everything we possibly can to improve our maternity services and deliver quality care to women and their families”.
Alex Davies-Jones, a local Rhondda Cynon Taf councillor, says her own experience shows that ‘fears’ over the merger of these specialist services have been “confirmed” and something “desperately needs to be done and the situation needs to be reviewed”.