Health board considers public consultation over £1.3 billion hospital plans
Hywel Dda University Health Board will decide next week whether to hold a formal public consultation to assist with the selection of the site for a new hospital between Narberth and St Clears.
The new hospital, which the board has put forward to the Welsh Government as part of a £1.3 billion business case, is not expected to open until 2029 and will result in the closure of emergency care services at Withybush hospital in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen’s Glangwili hospitals.
An extraordinary health board meeting is being held on Thursday 4 August and one of the recommendations in the report being discussed and supported by the independent watchdog Hywel Dda Community Health Council, is to hold a public consultation.
with public and patient representatives, clinical and non-clinical staff, and stakeholders, including other public sector organisations.
The health board considers the next step in the process should be a formal consultation, to ensure the wider public have an opportunity to consider the options.
Ahead of the meeting, Hywel Dda Director of Strategic Development & Operational Planning, Lee Davies said: “We are so grateful for the significant work that has been carried out during the appraisal process and this will be presented to the health board next week.
“It will be down to the board to determine which sites should be taken forward for further consideration and a recommended public consultation as this is such a fundamental part of our service provision for future generations.”
The zone where the new hospital will be situated was determined as part of the engagement, option development and public consultation on the new hospital held between 2017 and 2018.
In 2018, when plans for the hospital and the downgrading of A&E departments at both Withybush Hospital and Gwangwili were made public, over 40,000 people signed a petition to save Withybush Hospital.
Protests have continued since then, with opponents of the scheme claiming extra travel to a new hospital could cost lives and have urging the health board to retain emergency services at Withybush.
The costings for the project include approximately £737m for the construction of the new hospital and between £210-£284m for the repurposing or rebuild of Withybush and Glangwili hospitals.
Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth will also be refurbished at a cost of approximately £126m and £109 million will be spent on updating Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli.
An additional £185 million is allocated to the development of community buildings.
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