£2m extra to be pumped into services at Neath Port Talbot Hospital
MORE than £2 million is to be invested in new or expanded services at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
It has now lost its acute medical services owing to a shortage of doctors, with patients treated in Swansea or Bridgend instead.
But Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said the hospital would continue to play a very important role.
Planning director Paul Stauber said: "The investments being made in new or bigger services at the hospital demonstrate our commitment to its future. We want to expand the key role it plays in delivering healthcare alongside our other hospitals.
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"These new Neath Port Talbot Hospital services will treat patients from across the health board area — and in some cases even beyond that."
Currently being built at the hospital is a new, highly-specialist IVF unit which will be one of only two NHS centres in South Wales providing IVF fertility treatment (the other one is in Cardiff). It will treat patients from across south and mid Wales.
Work should finish towards the end of the year with the new service starting up early in 2013.
A major expansion of Neath Port Talbot's existing urology service is due to take place before Christmas.
The state-of-the-art day case diagnostic investigation unit is being set up to deal with patients not only from Neath Port Talbot, but Swansea and Bridgend too.
It will be able to investigate, diagnose and treat many bladder conditions, and will include a new lithotripsy service which uses shock waves to break down kidney stones. It will also be able to diagnose and treat prostate problems, and deal with conditions like recurring bladder infections.
Breast surgery will also be stepped up to cater for an increasing number of Swansea women as well as patients from Neath Port Talbot.
The service will not only be able to provide surgery for the majority of breast cancer patients, and those with benign conditions, it will also support the breast reconstructive service at Morriston Hospital by offering less complicated breast reconstructive surgery, which will help reduce waiting times for many women.
Meanwhile, the hospital will become the ABM centre of excellence for shoulders, feet and ankle joint surgery. This is expected to be in place by the end of the year, and will involve more than 2,000 operations annually.
An ABM spokeswoman said: "While these developments will be among the earliest to come to fruition at Neath Port Talbot Hospital in the coming months, they won't be the last.
"Work is under way to develop even more services there."
Meanwhile, ABM has reminded patients that Neath Port Talbot's minor injury unit is still open 24-7 to people from all areas.
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