Wales

Baby Niamh Williams' wait for Cardiff hospital bed 'horrific'

Niamh Williams Image copyright Family
Image caption Baby Niamh has been waiting more than two weeks for a hospital place

The family of a newborn baby girl left waiting more than two weeks for a specialist care bed say it has been a "horrific" experience.

Niamh Williams was born with a cleft palate on 1 October and must be assessed before she can be allowed home for the first time.

But she is still waiting for a place at Noah's Ark Children Hospital for Wales.

Health bosses say the Cardiff hospital is dealing with high demand for its services.

BBC Wales has learned at least one other baby has also faced a similar wait for access to the respiratory unit at the hospital.

Niamh's father Mark Williams said the situation has "nearly broken" his family.

"She should be home by now," said the 35-year-old support worker, from Abertillery in Blaenau Gwent.

His daughter was born in Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, where doctors insist she needs a specialist respiratory assessment in Cardiff.

"The Nevill Hall staff have been amazing, but no one has given us any answers about why there aren't any beds left in Cardiff," said Mr Williams.

He and his wife Steph are frustrated their child has spent the whole of her life waiting for a bed.

"Myself, my wife and our entire family are in turmoil, as this is the longest anyone has ever had to wait for a bed - the longest Nevill Hall has known is two to three days," he said.

"How on earth is it so bad, this has got to stop, it's horrific. Someone somewhere is not allowing the funds for extra beds."

Image copyright Family
Image caption Niamh has now been moved to hospital in Cardiff - but not the assessment unit she needs

Niamh has now been transferred to a neonatal unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where the site is also home to the Noah's Ark hospital.

"That is still not the respiratory unit where she needs to be," added Mr Williams.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board officials said Mr Williams could contact them if he wished to discuss his concerns further.

"We always act in the best interests of patients and put them at the centre of everything we do to ensure they receive the most appropriate care for their needs," added a health board official.

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