The Royal College of Nursing has welcomed a £9.7m investment in Swansea’s neonatal and post-natal services, which was announced by the Welsh government.
RCN in Wales Director Tina Donnelly said the move represented a further commitment from the Welsh government to support Welsh health and nursing services.
“The important developments promise to improve quality of care for mothers and their babies”
Welsh Health secretary Vaughan Gething revealed the £9.7m in funding to support neonatal and post-natal services at Singleton Hospital on Friday.
The funding will be used to develop a new seven-bed transitional care unit and 12-cot special care baby unit to improve care quality, and free up space within its current neonatal intensive care unit.
It will also provide a safer environment, with 24/7 access to neonatal transitional care nurses and access to “much-needed” neonatal critical care cots, noted the Welsh government.
Mr Gething said the changes would allow the health board to increase the number of births that can be treated at Singleton from the end of July 2019. Work on the new unit will begin in mid-2018.
“It is always good news to hear that there is investment being made in nursing and health services”
The investment will increase capacity across the South Wales area, in line with the neonatal network plans and the proposals put forward in the South Wales Programme, he said.
Mr Gething said: “Our investment in Singleton Hospital demonstrates our commitment to improving services across the Welsh NHS.
“The important developments promise to improve quality of care for mothers and their babies, providing a safer environment, with 24/7 access to neonatal transitional care nurses and access to much-needed neonatal critical care cots,” he added.
Responding to the announcement, Ms Donnelly said: “The RCN in Wales is delighted with the news that the importance of neonatal transitional care and the work nurses in this field do is recognised by the Welsh government.”
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She said the funding would improve the healthcare of patients and strengthen the skilled workforce in an area that provides care for the “most vulnerable babies at a critical time in their lives”
“This additional financial support in the light of reports of a crisis in nurse recruitment, especially neonatal nursing, is most welcome,” she said.
Gaynor Jones, chair of the RCN Wales board, added: “It is always good news to hear that there is investment being made in nursing and health services in Wales and particularly money being directed towards some of our most vulnerable patients – newborn babies and new mothers who need extra support and care from dedicated neonatal nurses and health care professionals.”
Last week, the Welsh government also pledged that the nursing bursary in Wales would continue for 2019 under its Train, Work, Live recruitment campaign.