Two new operating theatres are to be built at Prince Philip Hospital thanks to nearly £20 million of Welsh government funding, and will include preparation rooms, anaesthetic rooms, changing facilities and a recovery area.

The theatres will have capacity to run 24 sessions a week, covering procedures including orthopaedics, general surgery, urology, vascular and laser therapy for varicose veins.

The new facilities are expected to deliver approximately 4,600 additional day cases per year.

It’s hoped this will help efforts to tackle the backlog of people waiting for treatment in the area after delays caused by the impact of the pandemic to planned care.

As well as benefitting patients in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire waiting for treatment, it is also anticipated that patients across the wider south west Wales region will benefit from the additional capacity this development will enable.

As part of the planning for the new unit, Hywel Dda University Health Board is running a targeted campaign to recruit additional clinical, theatre and support staff.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said, ‘This funding will benefit people who have been waiting for surgical treatment in the Hywel Dda Health Board area by increasing the number of day case procedures by more than 4,600 a year. This shows our commitment to investing in infrastructure in NHS Wales, to ensure it has sufficient resilience and capacity to care for people when they need it.

‘We recently announced an investment of more than £170 million in planned care and challenged health boards to develop plans about how they can transform how their services are delivered and make best use of the funding available. It is through investing in services and transforming how we deliver planned care that we can tackle the impacts of the pandemic on the NHS in Wales.’