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Public invited to join appraisal group for new hospital site

11 March 2022

Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) is inviting those members of the public who have expressed a wish to be part of future engagement, to submit expressions of interest to be part of the process to help assess and evaluate the shortlisted sites.

This technical evaluation process will result in a recommendation for the best location for the new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital.

The health board recently submitted a Programme Business Case to the Welsh Government to secure a scale of investment never before seen in west Wales. One of the proposals within the Business Case is for a new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital, somewhere between Narberth in Pembrokeshire and St Clears in Carmarthenshire.

To help select a site and as part of its commitment to engage with communities, the health board is contacting individuals, groups, and organisations from across the three counties requesting expressions of interest to join a group to assess and evaluate the shortlisted sites and to identify the best location for the hospital.

This exercise includes writing to more than 200 people who participated in an engagement exercise last year, who had requested to be kept informed about future engagement activities.

Numbers will be limited but the health board is seeking a diverse and representative group. Those who become part of the process will be expected to attend a small number of half day workshops. While dates are yet to be confirmed we would expect participation to include a discussion on the process for the appraisal, understanding of criteria used for evaluating the shortlist of sites and to agree the relative weighting of those criteria. Finally scoring the shortlisted sites to arrive at a recommendation for the health board.

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: “Public representation on this appraisal group is of paramount importance, and we want it to be as representative as possible of the communities we serve. The group will also include health and care professionals, clinicians and public sector partners.

“We fully understand the strength of feeling that exists within our communities, which is why I would encourage those contacted to submit their expressions of interest to take part in this panel, and have their voices heard.

“The new Urgent and Planned Care Hospital is one element of our ambitious plan to improve health outcomes and well-being of our population. It forms part of our long-term strategy to deliver A Healthier Mid and West Wales, which followed extensive engagement and consultation in 2018.

“Our target is to shift from an illness service with a focus on hospital buildings and intervention, to a service that works across boundaries to prevent ill health or deterioration of health, providing help earlier, and wherever possible closer to home.”

While many details about future services across Hywel Dda are currently being developed and planned, the health board has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions to ensure the public are provided with the most up-to-date information.