Controversial plans for the future of healthcare have been passed by members of the Hywel Dda health board who have hailed the vision which includes community care centres in Cardigan, Llandysul and Lampeter.

With the plan securing the future of Bronglais Hospital as a district general hospital, albeit with warnings that staff recruitment will dictate what services can be provided, the main difference to services in Ceredigion will be the greater emphasis on community-based services.

Alongside the joint Ceredigion Council and Hywel Dda Cylch Caron development at Tregaron and new facilities planned for Aberaeron and Cardigan, Llandysul and Lampeter will also see “integrated community networks” formed to provide care to patients closer to their homes and cutting down on some travel.

The plan, approved by members of the full health board, will see Bronglais “build on its reputation as an excellent rural provider of acute and planned care” and will see the hospital have a 24-hour emergency department, general medicine and surgery, surgical and medical specialities, paediatrics, mental health and diagnostic services, a midwife-led obstetric service alongside low risk consultant-led obstetrics, day case operations and a range of surgical procedures, and outpatient, oncology and palliative care services.

The report said: “Bronglais Hospital will build its reputation as an excellent rural provider of acute and planned care.

“It will therefore continue to provide urgent, emergency and planned care services, with more specialist cases transferred to our new urgent and planned care hospital as part of our wider hospitals network, as well as other regional sites for more critical care.”

A new hospital will be built between Withybush Hospital in Pembrokeshire and Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, although Welsh Government funding support has not been approved yet.

Health chiefs have claimed the new strategy is an attempt to change the focus of healthcare and concentrate more on prevention, early intervention and community care, with less reliance on hospitals.

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