A&E to be downgraded at Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital
PRINCE Philip’s A&E is to be downgraded to a nurse-led, GP-supported unit, Health Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.
Mr Drakeford was reporting back from a panel of experts who looked into plans to shake up hospital services in Mid and West Wales – proposed by Hywel Dda Health Board.
Mr Drakeford told the Welsh Government in Cardiff this afternoon: “The panel strongly support the case for replacement of A&E services at Price Philip Hospital.
“It unanimously proposes that an emergency nurse practitioner unit supported by general practitioners should form the future model of care at the hospital.
“I accept fully this expert advice and have therefore determined that this form of service will be implemented.
“I am pleased to report that the health board and community health council (CHC) have already been working on the detail of this type of service model for Prince Philip Hospital.
“At Prince Philip Hospital, in 2011/12 its emergency department saw 33,000 patients of which 6,500 were major cases. 422 of these needed to be transferred to another hospital.
“The remaining 80 per cent of patients were treated at the hospital and the decision I have made today means that this position will be no different in the future.”
In April, patient watchdog Hywel Dda Community Health Council (CHC) decided to formally refer the plans for Llanelli’s A&E and centralising some specialist care for babies at Glangwili Hospital to the Welsh Government for a decision.
The CHC said it could not support the health board's proposal to develop a nurse-led injury service in Llanelli and recommended an alternative GP or doctor-led model.
Mr Drakeford also revealed that plans for a dedicated high-dependency baby care unit at Glangwili have been given the backing by the panel of experts, although not at a cost to Bronglais and Whithybush hospitals.
Hywel Dda Health Board’s plans for a high-dependency baby unit at the hospital were unveiled last year.
Mothers and babies involved in risky and complex births will no longer have to travel to Swansea if plans for an advanced neonatal unit in Carmarthen go ahead.
The panel led by health minister Mark Drakeford have asked the health board to look in detail at proposals for the unit.
The level two unit would be the first of its kind in West Wales.