CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is working with Hywel Dda University Health Board to put hundreds of additional beds in place, in the event they will be required by the NHS over the coming weeks.
Preparing for and responding to unprecedented challenges, the council is working with Llanelli Town Council and the private sector to support the Health Board manage an anticipated increased demand for care.
Over the coming days, contractors will be commissioned to convert spaces at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and – with the support of Llanelli Town Council – the Selwyn Samuel Centre.
Parc y Scarlets has also generously offered a large part of its site and buildings for free to the local authority to convert for the use of the NHS.
Dr Phil Kloer, Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Hywel Dda, said: “Delivering these additional beds for patients will be essential to help us manage patient flow over the coming weeks and we are extremely grateful for all of the support that we are receiving from our local authority partner to help make this happen.
“We have followed the situation in Italy closely to learn where possible and to help our planning. Our European colleagues have provided feedback that patient flow and throughput is a critical factor in response to COVID-19 pressures.”
Cllr Jane Tremlett, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for health and social care, said: “It is critical the NHS and Local Government pool their expertise in these extraordinary times to ensure we take this emergency action.
“It is only through working together that we can meet these challenges. I would like to thank Llanelli Town Council and Parc y Scarlets for their support.”
Speaking jointly, Jake Morgan, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director For Communities, and Andrew Carruthers, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Director of Operations, said: “Details in relation to these facilities are being developed with clinicians. These will be NHS managed facilities with many support services provided by the local authority and existing commercial partners.
“Developing these at pace is our priority and we hope that some elements of these facilities will be operational at the beginning of May.
“The Health Board is working very closely with all three of our local authorities to develop similar facilities and further information will be provided as these measures progress.”