Hywel Dda University Health Board has revealed the final five sites being considered for a new hospital in West Wales.
Previously all the public had been told was that land was being looked at between St Clears and Narberth and recently 11 sites were reduced to five.
Now the exact locations have been announced and they are:
- Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Kiln Park Farm, located north of Narberth railway station and adjacent to the A478, approximately 1 km north-east of Narberth town centre.
- Agricultural land northeast of Whitland town center between the A40 to the north, the Whitland Rugby Club to the east and Spring Gardens to the south.
- Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Ty Newydd Farm to the east of the former site of Whitland Creamery and downtown Whitland.
- Farmland and buildings forming part of Penllyne Court just outside the village of Pwll-Trap near St Clears.
- Agricultural land in the old fields of Bryncaerau, situated next to the junction of the A40 and A477 at St Clears, between the A4066 (Tenby Road) to the south, the village of Pwll Trap to the north and the A40 West.
Hywel Dda said all sites are in an area that is the most central location for the majority of the population in the southern Hywel Dda region and were determined through public consultation.
Lee Davies, executive director of strategic development and operational planning at Hywel Dda, said: “The final decision on the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with the Welsh government, if they support funding. of the hospital.”
In January, the Hywel Dda University Board of Health launched a £1billion business case passed to Welsh Government for the new ‘urgent and planned care’ hospital to be built on land between St Clears and Narberth by the end of the decade.
The exact locations come as West Wales hospital campaigners have sparked a debate in Senedd over fears that, as part of the healthcare shake-up, Pembrokeshire could lose the only accident and injury service county emergency.
Before the locations were made public, campaigners fighting to save the A&E ward at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest (pictured above) from being downgraded appealed for local support for the future of the hospital as part of the healthcare overhaul in Mid and West Wales. .
Under the plans, Withybush Hospital and Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen would lose services and be ‘reassigned’.
Instead of an A&E in each hospital, there would be minor injury units run by GPs.
Community healthcare centers would also be set up across the region and Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli and Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth would be upgraded.
Prince Philip Hospital would remain a general hospital providing acute medicine.
Campaigners’ concerns include the downgrading of Withybush and Glangwili, as well as public transport and road infrastructure to the new hospital.
A petition from campaign group Save Withybush calls for Withybush Hospital to maintain 24/7 consultant-led emergency care and for the health board to keep the hospital fully staffed.
Due to the petition reaching over 10,000 signatures, it has sparked a debate on the future of Withybush which MS will hold on Wednesday June 29 at the Senedd.
Activists send briefing paper to MS claiming Hywel Dda’s proposed changes were not properly thought out and would put people at risk.
The hard-hitting briefing paper includes concerns about worker safety in Pembrokeshire’s most dangerous industries such as agriculture and oil refinery.
It also highlights the impact the changes would have for people who do not have cars and who simply could not rely on Pembrokeshire’s poorer road and public transport infrastructure if the changes materialize.
A spokesman for Save Withybush said: ‘We must let our elected representatives know that united we will defeat these dangerous plans to withdraw our A&Es.’
While Carmarthen does not have a campaign group on the future of Glangwili Hospital, many of the same issues raised by Save Withybush campaigners can be applied to rural areas of Carmarthenshire which fall within the catchment area from the hospital, such as how far people live from the new hospital project, road infrastructure and questions about sufficient public transport links to get there.
The briefing paper states: “Withybush Hospital and Glangwili Hospital would become community hospitals, with a focus on ‘patients who do not need to be in an acute setting but need support’. “
Addressing the distances people might face, the newspaper adds:
“Public transport is poor in the health board area, and with more distance to get to A&E, the proposed plans put vulnerable citizens at increased risk, further increasing the considerable health inequalities that exist for those who don’t do not have access to a car, most often the elderly, people with disabilities, people on very low incomes and women who are often the main caregivers in families.
“While transport is mentioned in the plans, this issue has not been properly addressed.”
The health board said it is engaged in an ongoing process of listening and engaging with communities and partners and what is said in the Senedd.
Adding that it will be necessary to continue the regular public engagement and possibly to consult some parts of the health changes it aims to bring.
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