Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) would like to thank all those who contributed to the recent engagement exercise, the findings from which will help to shape future services.
During the six-week exercise (Monday 10th May – Monday 21st June), the health board asked the public to complete a survey and give their feedback on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their health and care, and access to it. We asked to provide nominations for sites for a new hospital within the zone between and including St Clears in Carmarthenshire and Narberth in Pembrokeshire. And we also asked about the most important things people thought we should consider in deciding which site will be best for our communities.
A full report on the findings is currently being compiled and will be published in due course. However, the exercise revealed some concerns from the public, which the health board can offer immediate reassurance on, including:
- The proposed site between St Clears and Narberth for the new hospital was agreed following our consultation in 2018, which resulted in the development of our long-term strategy A Healthier Mid and West Wales: Our future generations living well.
- Hywel Dda UHB has not purchased or yet identified a preferred site in the agreed zone.
- A long list of potential sites is currently being reviewed for suitability against four criteria (covering location of site, size, prospects of getting planning permission and appropriate transport infrastructure), which will lead to the compilation of a shortlist of sites.
- The final decision about the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with Welsh Government, from which we will be seeking the funds.
- A new hospital is essential for urgent and planned care in the south of the Hywel Dda area, and will provide trauma care and be the main emergency department for the south of our area.
- Hywel Dda UHB has no plans or intention to close either Glangwili or Withybush hospitals, and will engage further on how these hospitals could work alongside the proposed new hospital.
- Bronglais Hospital will build its reputation as an excellent rural provider of acute and planned care, and will continue to provide urgent, emergency and planned care services.
- Prince Philip Hospital will provide GP led minor-injuries as well as acute adult medical care with diagnostic support, including consultant-led overnight inpatient beds for patients.
- Hywel Dda UHB is committed to a programme of decarbonisaton, therefore, every decision we make before and during the development of a new hospital will consider the impact on the environment.
- Transport plans in support of the new hospital will be influenced by key developments in transport strategy locally.Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “I am truly grateful to all those who took the time to share their views and experiences of how COVID-19 has impacted them and their families. Your feedback has been insightful and informative and will play a major role in helping shape future services. This in turn will allow us to deliver on our long-term commitment for a healthier mid and west Wales.“While it is unfortunate that myths and rumours about the new hospital have been circulating, we can assure the public that openness and transparency are very important to us.“This exercise was part of our ongoing process to develop a programme business case to support our strategy for community and hospital-based health and care. As part of the process to apply for funding from the Welsh Government, we will submit the programme business case, and then individual outline business cases, then the final business cases by 2024. The health board will therefore engage with the public on a regular basis between now and the submission of the final business cases to ensure your views are fully considered.”
The health board is also keeping Hywel Dda Community Health Council, the independent watchdog of NHS services in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, appraised of developments so it can help represent the interests of our local communities.