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New hospital sites to be reviewed by appraisal group

23 June 2022

People from communities across the three counties will next week help score five potential sites for a new hospital in a zone including and between Narberth and St Clears.

The workshop on Tuesday 28 June will be the second of two technical sessions with members of the public, staff and partners. The first workshop, held in May, agreed the ‘weighting’ of the seven technical criteria to be used in this scoring process.

The potential sites to be reviewed are:

  • Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Kiln Park Farm which is located to the north of Narberth train station and adjacent to the A478, approximately 1km to the north-east of Narberth town centre. 
  • Agricultural land located to the north-east of Whitland town centre and situated between the A40 to the north, Whitland Rugby Club to the east and Spring Gardens to the south.
  • Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Ty Newydd Farm which is located to the east of the Old Whitland Creamery site and Whitland town centre. 
  • Agricultural land and buildings forming part of Penllyne Court located between Whitland and St Clears just outside Pwll-Trap. The site lies between the Swansea-Haverfordwest railway line to the north and the A40 to the south.
  • Agricultural land at old Bryncaerau fields, located adjacent to the junction of the A40 and A477 in St Clears, between the A4066 (Tenby Road) to the south, the village of Pwll Trap to the north and the A40 to the west.

All sites are in a zone that is the most central location for the majority of the population in the south of the Hywel Dda area and was determined through public consultation.

The upcoming workshop will involve the scoring by a majority public representation being drawn from across our region and including participants with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

When the group met in May, members reviewed the relative importance of the technical criteria to be considered when assessing the sites. The outcome was:

  • Transport and accessibility 19.84%
  • Infrastructure, access and active travel 15.7%
  • Sustainability 15.22%
  • Efficiency of design 14.65%
  • Site Conditions 11.81%
  • Environmental and ecology 11.65%
  • Acquisition and planning 11.13%

The process is being managed with support and advice from The Consultation Institute, a not-for-profit, independent body, which provides guidance on best practice for engaging with communities.

Lee Davies, Executive Director of Strategic Development & Operational Planning at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “The health board has been committed to undertaking significant engagement with our communities. This partnership has brought us a step closer to selecting a site for the new hospital, so I am grateful to participants for their involvement in this important part of the process to identify the best hospital sites.

“The outputs from this workshop will be considered by the Board in August, along with the findings from other appraisal groups that are currently ongoing. These appraisal groups are currently reviewing matters covering clinical, workforce and economic / financial issues.

“The final decision about the chosen site will be made by the health board, in agreement with Welsh Government, should they support the funding of the hospital.”

Earlier this year, the health board submitted a Programme Business Case to the Welsh Government to deliver the ambitions of the Healthier Mid and West Wales strategy and secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales.

The aim is to shift to a service that focuses on a social model for health, working with partners to integrate service delivery, promoting wellness and prevention of deterioration of health, providing help earlier, and wherever possible closer to home.

A key enabler of this, is providing a new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital, providing an architectural separation of emergency and planned medical care, which would avoid the risk of emergency activity impacting on planned care through cancelled operations. Withybush Hospital, in Haverfordwest, and Glangwili Hospital, in Carmarthen, are amongst the oldest hospital buildings in Wales, making it difficult to meet modern standards and impacting on staff and patient experience. Some of these services are very fragile.

By bringing these services together, the health board can provide clinical staff and trainees with better training, reduce the impact of rotas on individuals so they help attract and retain staff, and allow them to see sufficient patients and work in teams that maintain and build their expertise.

The health board’s ambition is to bring opportunities to provide a wider range of specialist health services to our communities within the boundaries of Hywel Dda than is currently possible. There is, however, an important continued role for Withybush and Glangwili hospitals, which will operate as local community hospitals, with ambulatory services, therapy, and nurse-led beds, focusing on rehabilitation and less acute needs. The aim is for most people to receive their care locally and only stay in the new Planned and Urgent Care Hospital when really necessary for acute care and when possible to be transferred back to their homes or to closer hospitals if they need a period of rehabilitation. We plan to have 27/7minor injury units at Glangwili and Withybush hospitals, based on the successful Prince Philip Hospital minor injury unit. 

The health board does not intend to make changes at Glangwill or Withybush hospitals until the new hospital is built (we think the new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital will take until at least the end of 2029 to open). And there will be regular engagement - listening and working with our communities, and our partner organisations, and possibly consultation on parts of the programme. 

You can find more information and a  published a list of Frequently Asked Questions on the health board’s website.