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Keeping A&E 24/7: Health board releases statement on Withybush changes



withybushhospTHE LOCAL health board has released a statement today in the run up to changes that it says are ‘essential’ to ensure that the A&E department at Withybush General Hospital remains open 24 hours a day.

The statement reads as follows:

“HOSPITALS and community services across the south of Hywel Dda University Health Board area will support each other further from Wednesday (August 5).  This will allow patient access to medical and unscheduled care services to be maintained 24/7, whilst temporarily there are fewer than usual junior medical doctors in place.

Between now and the end of the year, there will be less medical doctors available at Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest, after the Wales Deanery was unable to allocate core medical trainees for the usual August start.

Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer explained: “Whilst we have managed to recruit service doctors into the posts ourselves, these are mainly international doctors and it will take some months before all the Visa paperwork and processes are in place and doctors are working on the ground in the hospital. In the interim, we are putting in place a temporary solution to ensure that the number of medical beds at Withybush Hospital reflect the number of doctors available, whilst also keeping the medical intake and doors to the Emergency and Urgent Care Centre open 24/7.”

This involves temporarily providing additional capacity and beds at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, and Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, and shifting both hospital’s patient boundaries further west. For example GP referrals and appropriate Welsh Ambulance Service Trust responses from Carmarthen East and the Gwendraeth Valley, will take patients to Prince Philip Hospital, and likewise those from Narberth, Kilgetty, Tenby and Saundersfoot areas will go to Glangwili Hospital.

Struggle to maintain a 24 hour service: Withybush A&E

Struggle to maintain a 24 hour service: Withybush A&E

Patients across the area will continue to be able to walk-in to their nearest emergency department as they do now. Also following initial feedback we would like to clarify breast cancer patients will continue to be cared for on the Peony Suite (Breast Care Unit) at Prince Philip Hospital.

Initially, Ward 7, a surgical ward at Prince Philip Hospital, will be converted into a medical ward to accommodate additional medical patients whilst a dedicated temporary ward is prepared at Glangwili Hospital, hoped to be ready in eight weeks.

Dr Kloer emphasised: “We will have to initially postpone some planned surgical procedures, but we are working hard to minimise the impact of this, for example ring fencing orthopaedics and cancer surgery and exploring options for doing more day case surgery and possibly weekend working.”

Additionally, the UHB has worked with the local authorities and colleagues in the independent and third sectors to ensure patients who are medically fit and do not need to be in hospital are supported to receive the care and support they need elsewhere. This has included the purchasing of additional beds in nursing and residential homes.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “The health board’s priority has continued to be to maintain access to medical and unscheduled care services for our population, whilst we have a temporary gap in the number of junior doctors available. We acknowledge that this situation affects our entire area and that each of our much loved and respected hospitals has a role to play – working together for the benefit of our population.

“The solutions we are putting in place this week have been clinically led and involved a huge range of staff from across the health board area. A huge amount of work has gone into this and the board is extremely thankful and proud of all staff who have been involved from clinicians, nurses, managers and other personnel – all of whom have shown an absolute dedication to patient care. We are also grateful to the ongoing support from partners, including local GPs and the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire local authorities and private and third sector colleagues.”

The local population can support their local hospitals at this time by ensuring they choose the best healthcare service to meet their needs, reserving emergency care for those who need it most. The national Choose Well guidance can help.

Families and friends of patients who have been admitted to hospital can also assist when patients are medically fit and ready to be discharged home, by supporting that process.

The position will improve continuously as doctors come into post at Withybush Hospital between August and December, and the additional capacity which is being put in place at Glangwili Hospital will be maintained in order to support winter pressure.”

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Proposed locations for new hospital site to be reviewed



HYWEL DDA UNIVERSITY HEALTH BOARD (UHB) will this week undertake a review of potential sites as part of the ongoing process to identify a suitable location for a new hospital.

Eleven sites will be assessed on Friday 22 October, including those identified by members of the public during the six-week engagement exercise, which took place earlier this year.

This stage of the process is intended to lead to the creation of a shortlist of sites. This will be subject to further detailed appraisal with significant public and wider stakeholder involvement. The final decision about the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with Welsh Government.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The building of a new hospital is a major long-term project, which is why we place great emphasis on being open and transparent about the process involved.

“The process we are following includes developing 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 for the new infrastructure we will need. 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.

“I understand and recognise there are passionate feelings about a new hospital, but we strongly believe a new facility is essential for urgent and planned care in the south of the Hywel Dda area. It will provide trauma care and be the main emergency department for the south of our area.

“I can also reassure the public that we have no plans or intention to close either Glangwili or Withybush hospitals. We will engage further on how these hospitals could work alongside the proposed new hospital.”

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Unprecedented demand on health and social care services in local area



Joint statement by Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Pembrokeshire County Council, Carmarthenshire County Council and Ceredigion County Council

The urgent statement we have asked to publish is as follows:

THERE is currently an unprecedented demand on health and social care services across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, which is leading to significant delays in care provision. Put simply, the difficulty in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital – many of whom have complex personal circumstances and needs – is leading to significant bed shortages, and consequently, lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of A&E departments, which mean that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community.Social care and Health teams are doing everything possible to support people who are well enough to leave hospital but need ongoing care. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable, and alternative health and care packages are being offered as a short-term measure. More carers and health staff are also being recruited to support people in need.

If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home, but is waiting to be discharged with homecare and community health support, you may be able to help them to get home more quickly if you and your family are in a position to support them at home. If your relative is waiting for a formal package of care, you may be able to offer support and care on a short term, temporary arrangement or you might want to consider whether your loved one could be supported in a temporary residential or nursing care setting. If you feel that this is an option that you could consider, please speak to the ward manager or your social worker to explore further.

Spending as little time in hospital is better for patients and means that NHS beds can be freed up for others with urgent care needs. Supporting older patients to get home from hospital efficiently is an important part of their recovery and it also protects them from negative consequences of hospital admission, such as hospital acquired infection, falls and a loss of independence.  You can find out more about the hospital discharge process and guidance here: Inpatient information – Hywel Dda University Health Board (

Your support not only helps your loved one, but it is a huge support to the NHS and social care services as well.

Thank you.

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Child taken to hospital following collision with car outside school



AN EARLY morning collision outside Ysgol Harri Tudor school, Pembroke, has seen a child taken to hospital.

The collision happened between a child and a car on Pembroke Road, Pembroke, at approximately 9am this morning.

A secondary school pupil has been taken to hospital via ambulance for what is said to be minor injuries.

Police and ambulance service were on the scene and were helped by school staff to manage the incident.

A police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a road traffic collision involving a car and a secondary school pupil this morning, 21st October 2021. The collision occurred on Pembroke Road, Pembroke at approximately 9:00am.

“The Ambulance Service also attended and escorted the teenage boy to hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: “We can confirm that there has been an incident outside Ysgol Harri Tudur in Pembroke this morning where a pupil came into contact with a car. 

“The police and ambulance have been on the scene and were assisted by school staff. We are not able to release any further details at present.”

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