New facility will address COVID-19 backlogs
Staff prepare to treat the first patients in the new unit
Hywel Dda University Health Board has announced the opening of a new £20m day surgery unit at Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital in Wales as part of a major boost to tackle the surgical waiting list backlog.
The two new theatres, which are backed by government funding, opened last week and will enable the health board to provide surgery to thousands of patients across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
Ultimately, the theatres, delivered by Vanguard Healthcare, will have capacity to run six days a week and will cover specialties including orthopaedics, general surgery, urology, and vascular surgery.
The unit has been specially designed to reduce the risk of infection, generating a flow of ultra-clean air in the operating suites, as well as featuring preparation rooms, anaesthetic rooms, changing facilities, and a recovery area.
Maria Battle, chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “I am pleased to announce the opening of the day surgery unit at Prince Philip Hospital as part of our wider recovery plan to rapidly address waiting lists that have grown during the pandemic, and which are really worrying for some of our residents.”
Consultant surgeon and clinical director for scheduled care, Ken Harries, added: "With this exciting new development in place we are expanding our theatre capacity and days to maximise efficiency and treat patients, some of whom have had significant waits for their surgery.
“This first-class facility will ultimately enable around 4,000-5,000 additional patients to receive procedures in the unit every year, and together with our approach to recovery, we hope that it will also attract future recruits.”
And Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “The Welsh Government is proud to have helped to fund this new unit, which will mean that more people will get their operations carried out within the same day – avoiding the need for long stays in Prince Philip hospital.
“We are really aware there are many people waiting for surgery and this new unit will speed up the process for those waiting in pain, by treating thousands more patients each year.”