20/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 04:17

Hywel Dda Health Board: Plan to shut community hospitals

Category: Wales

Published: 6th Aug 2012 11:16:17

Plans for significant changes to the NHS in mid and west Wales have been announced by Hywel Dda Health Board.

Under the proposals, the accident and emergency department at Llanelli's Prince Philip would be replaced by an accident centre staffed by nurses.

Community hospitals would close at Mynydd Mawr, Tregaron and Aberaeron, with services lost from another two at Tenby and Pembroke Dock.

The board has promised a £40m investment for community centres.

However, the health board has promised a £40m investment to develop new community centres - so-called "virtual wards" - at Aberaeron, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Cross Hands, Crymych and Whitland.

It is estimated the changes would mean a 20% reduction in acute hospital beds and 80% of NHS services would be provided through primary community and social care teams.

According to the health board, the proposed community hospital changes will save £3.3m.

Construction of a "community resource centre" in place of Tregaron will start next year.

Staff from Tenby and South Pembrokeshire hospitals will be redeployed to Withybush and GP surgeries will take over a minor injuries service.

Consultant-led obstetric services will continue at Bronglais, Glangwili and Withybush hospitals and paediatric high dependency care will be centralised at Glangwili.

The proposals also say that Prince Philip Hospital will become a specialist centre for breast cancer care.

Discussions are also set to take place on developing the Welsh Air Ambulance, which could mean upgrading helicopters so they can fly in all weather conditions.

Overall, the health board said the re-modelling of services would lead to a £14.8m reduction in its cost base by 2015/16.

It insisted that none of the proposed changes will take place until it is "safe and appropriate to do so".

The proposals will be subject to 12 weeks' public consultation.

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BBC News, 2012. Hywel Dda Health Board: Plan to shut community hospitals [Online] (Updated 6th Aug 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1444680/Hywel-Dda-Health-Board-Plan-to-shut-community-hospitals [Accessed 20th Aug 2014]

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