- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Two Pembrokeshire Minor Injury Units that have been closed since the beginning of the year will reopen in April , Hywel Dda Health Board has announced.
At a packed public meeting at the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Carmarthen on Thursday (26th January), Health Board Chairman Chris Martin said the MIUs, which closed on January 3rd so staff could help keep Accident and Emergency Services at Withybush open 24 hours a day, will reopen on April 1st.
The announcement came in response to a question submitted by Pembrokeshire-based AM Joyce Watson. She asked:
“Following the closures of the MIUs at Tenby and Pembroke Dock in recent weeks, concerns have been raised with me over the lack consultation with local communities and their representatives. Whilst maintaining a full time A&E department at Withybush is important, can you provide me with a date for the reopening of the MIUs in Pembrokeshire? Can you also give me your assurances that the current engagement process is truly transparent and will you undertake to share fully the responses of those who take part?”
Responding, Mr Martin admitted that communication between the Board and the public had not been good enough, and promised to improve the process.
He apologised for the last-minute decision to close the MIUs but insisted the decision was ‘operational’ – to shore up Accident and Emergency services at Withybush – and not part of the on-going health services reconfiguration plans. Services at the two hospitals will be reinstated from April, Mr Martin said.
The Chairman also revealed that the Board is looking to employ three new emergency nurse practitioners at Withybush Accident and Emergency department, but the recruitment process “has been difficult,” he admitted.
Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Watson welcomed the Board’s commitment to reinstate services from April, adding:
“This episode should serve as a lesson to health boards. They need to be open and honest with people and to listen to the public’s views when planning future health services”.