- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Withybush Hospital’s new £7.8m state of the art renal unit is expected to open in July, health minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed.
Answering questions put by Joyce Watson AM at the Senedd on Wednesday (7 May), Mr Drakeford admitted that the delayed opening has been ‘frustrating’, but said the facility signalled the Welsh Government’s commitment to the future of the Pembrokeshire hospital.
Mid and West AM Joyce Watson said:
“I was pleased to join you on your recent tour of health services in west Wales. The region has a good story to tell about dialysis services at the moment. We have the new unit at Withybush and the introduction of a life-saving treatment technique at Glangwili. Minister, are you able to tell us today when the Withybush unit will open to patients? Hywel Dda LHB has said that it will be in the summer, but have you been given an actual date?”
The minister responded:
“We are very close to the end of the tendering process that has been going on in west Wales and which will lead to improvements at Withybush and also in Carmarthen and, indeed, in Aberystwyth at Bronglais as well. As soon as the tender is finally signed by the local health board, there will be a short number of weeks before the unit at Withybush becomes operational. I am confident that that will happen during the month of July.”
The building, which includes consulting, training and treatment areas, together with seminar and conference facilities, is complete. It was originally due to open to renal patients from across the county in February.
Mr Drakeford added:
“I have shared some of the Member’s frustrations at the delay there has been at the unit. The reason lies in the development of a contract that would not just bring about improvements at Withybush but allow for the investment in new equipment at Carmarthen and ensure that the new Padarn unit in Aberystwyth is also brought on-stream in as timely a fashion as possible. Making all of those three things happen together has introduced some additional complexities in the contracting. However, in the longer term, they will deliver more benefits and outweigh the delay.
“It is a further sign of this Government’s determination that that hospital as well as others in west Wales will go on providing services for patients into the future.”