WellSpan says they will still be caring for NICU patients, pediatrics at Chambersburg Hospital

22 December 2023- After reports of issues regarding child inpatient care at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital potentially being suspended, News Talk 1037FM has reached out to WellSpan to get the full details and try to end the confusion.

Earlier today, some outlets warned that WellSpan may be eliminating inpatient care for children at their Chambersburg Hospital, but those fears may be overblown.

As per a release from WellSpan, the hospital will still have outpatient care, specialized childbirth care, and NICU facilities. What they do make clear, however, is that in the rare occurrence that a child has to be admitted for extensive work or illness, they will not be able to receive that care at Chambersburg Hospital. Those pediatric nurses are also cross-trained in other departments to take care of additional patients.

Chambersburg Hospital may have an overcrowding issue, which may be one of the reasons to allocate the beds towards adults and older individuals. The number of available beds as well as issues inpatient care patients face is currently unclear.

Full statement from WellSpan is below.

WellSpan Health is committed to working closely with our partner Keystone Health when it comes to pediatric care provided at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital. Keystone Health pediatric physicians will continue to care for newborns at the hospital.

WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital physicians will care for pediatric patients in the emergency department as well as pediatric surgical, orthopedic and Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) care in the hospital. This would include illnesses such as dehydration, acute asthma exacerbation, broken bones, croup, etc.

This is in addition to caring for newborns in the Level II NICU, a facility fully equipped and prepared to deliver babies as early as 32 weeks and treatment of mothers with unexpected medical complications. It is only when these pediatric patients would require a higher level of care that they may be transferred to another facility but rest assured that multiple levels of pediatric care will continue be offered at the hospital.

As pediatric volumes have been low at times, we have trained our pediatric nurses to work in other areas of the hospital so that they may retain full employment. In doing so they can now care for other patients.