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‘Incredible team’ behind Carmarthenshire’s field hospitals

CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has paid tribute to the remarkable work of its contractors as it hands over four field hospitals to the NHS.

In just three weeks, contractors commissioned by the county council have converted two leisure centres, a bowling and events arena and a rugby stadium into temporary hospitals to help Hywel Dda University Health Board deal with its response to coronavirus.

The council is paying special thanks to the incredible team of tradesmen and women who have worked non-stop to re-purpose Carmarthen Leisure Centre, Llanelli Leisure Centre, Selwyn Samuel Centre and Parc y Scarlets.

The contractors were Andrew Scott Ltd, Bullock Consulting, TRJ Ltd, and Lloyd and Gravell Ltd, along with other sub-contracted firms.

Around 600 beds have been made available for use and all four sites are now managed by Hywel Dda University Health Board.

The sites are now known as Ysbyty Enfys Caerfyrddin, Ysbyty Enfys Llanelli, Ysbyty Enfys Selwyn Samuel, and Ysbyty Enfys Scarlets – ‘enfys’ the Welsh word for ‘rainbow’ is widely being used as a symbol of hope during the pandemic.

The Regional Partnership Board in West Wales, which consists of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion Local Authorities alongside Hywel Dda University Health Board and the voluntary sector, agreed to utilise their regional funding under the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Funding arrangement to set up field hospitals in the area – a total of £4.7million has been spent in Carmarthenshire.

Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, Cllr Emlyn Dole, said: “It is truly remarkable what our contractors have achieved for us in such a short space of time. I want to thank each and every man and woman who has been part of this immense achievement – I have visited the sites and seen the level of work being undertaken, the commitment shown by the workforce and the incredible teamwork and sense of community that has powered them through.

“These people have been willing, day after day, to leave the safety of their family homes to work around the clock to provide these hospitals and they deserve every thank you – you have done Carmarthenshire proud.”

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda, said: “The efforts that our colleagues and partners in the local authority, private businesses including Parc Y Scarlets, contractors and our own staff have made is nothing short of remarkable and I want to personally extend my deepest thanks and gratitude to all for coming together and making this happen in the midst of a very serious global pandemic.

“As a health board we are ready for the challenges ahead and we want our communities to be assured that we have done everything we possibly can to get to this point. It’s important that we draw on all of the resources that we have to care for people across the whole healthcare system and this has only been made possible through the hard work and dedication of all.”

Carmarthenshire County Council also wishes to thank its officers for coordinating and managing the operational delivery of the field hospitals, partners Llanelli Town Council and Parc y Scarlets for their generosity and support, and volunteers who have kindly given their time and skills to assemble and fit furniture and equipment.

Cllr Dole added: “I am proud of the way we have pulled together to make these facilities available, but as I’ve said previously, my only hope is that they are not needed.”

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