On Friday, 14 February, between 3pm and 6 pm, there will be a drop-in meeting in the Castle Hotel, Llandovery,hosted by members of the Hywel Dda Health Board and senior nursing staff.
The meeting is intended to enable members of our local community to air their views on their wishes and hopes for the future of the cottage hospital in Llandovery.
This meeting will also be publicised on Facebook and with posters around the town and elsewhere. While the future shape of the hospital is critical, it is no more so than its current state where understaffing has massively reduced its capability to support the community and put a question mark over its longer-term viability.
It is important, therefore, that as many of us as can manage, go to the meeting and express our views, in order to emphasise the importance of the hospital to our community.
Currently, the hospital is allowed to have just 7 of its available 16 beds occupied as there are too few qualified staff available for duty. This is a tragedy. Not only does it mean that, per bed, the hospital is expensive in comparative terms – a dangerous situation to be in when the health board is short of money and looking for savings – but, more importantly, it means that our GP practice cannot find beds for the patients they see whom they know need them.
The same understaffing is also placing the continuation of the Minor Injuries Unit at the hospital at risk – again that would be a serious loss to this rural community when, otherwise, the nearest A&E is at Glangwilli and that is itself under significant pressure.
With full staffing the Llandovery Cottage Hospital would be well-placed to provide further specialist clinics in addition to those it currently hosts.
Submitted by Ian Watts, a member of the League of Friends of Llandovery Hospital