Outpatient consultations at Withybush Hospital which were reduced due to the discovery of faulty Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) planks will now restart in alternative locations throughout Pembrokeshire.
RAAC is a material that was commonly used in the construction of buildings between the 1960s and 1990s. Its presence was confirmed at Withybush Hospital in the summer.
Hywel Dda University Health Board closed the Outpatients A building at the Haverfordwest hospital in order to complete essential survey work resulting in a 50 per cent reduction in appointments.
While all efforts have been made to keep disruption to a minimum, many outpatients services were re-located throughout the health board area, while the hospital’s management team worked to find suitable accommodation within Pembrokeshire.
All Outpatient services affected by the RAAC work have found new, albeit temporary, homes until the building is ready to accept patients again but this is not expected until Summer 2024.
Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Director of Operations Andrew Carruthers said:
“We are really pleased that the Outpatients services have been relocated so quickly while we work to repair the RAAC-affected outpatients’ clinical areas in Withybush.
“We know that the survey work and remedial action has caused considerable disruption and concern among members of our community, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“The health board would like to thank hospital staff, patients and visitors for their patience and understanding over the last months while we have been carrying out this essential work.”
Although three wards are expected to re-open by Christmas, work will continue over this and next financial years to address the critical and high-risk planks. All affected wards are expected to be re-opened by April 2024 while remedial work to ground floors will continue into the next financial year (April 2025).
Mr Carruthers said that the health board would write to patients to confirm the date, time and location of appointments or ring patients whose appointments are imminent.
“We urge everybody to please read the appointment letter carefully and note any change of venue, as appointments previously held at Withybush Hospital may now be held at a Community Healthcare site. Please leave plenty of time for your journey as parking is quite limited at some of the locations.”
Patients should note that there is a reduced phlebotomy capacity at Withybush Hospital and are asked to please not attend the Phlebotomy Room without an appointment. Appointments can be requested by telephoning 01437 772433.
Unfortunately, due to the Phlebotomy Room being closed at certain times, patients may not be able to have their bloods taken on the same day as their appointment and may need to make a further appointment to attend on another day.
Patients are being urged to use their own transport or to take public transport to reach appointments when possible. If unable to do so, patients can access transport support by calling 0300 1232 303.
If patients have any concerns or need further information, they are being advised to please contact the Waiting List Support Service by telephone 0300 303 8322 and choose option 3 or e-mail [email protected]. Further information on the RAAC issue at Withybush Hospital can be seen on our dedicated page on our website - RAAC - Hywel Dda University Health Board (nhs.wales).