New Withybush renal unit unlikely to open before mid September

First published in News

WITHYBUSH’S new renal unit will not open until at least mid September the Western Telegraph has learned.

The long-awaited renal unit has lain empty since the build was completed on schedule in April.

The 21 station, £7.8 million unit was built by the health board on behalf of the Welsh Renal Network.

At present only the meeting room in the state-of-the-art facility is in use and patients are still having dialysis in a temporary unit or having to travel to Carmarthen, with ill and elderly patients often being picked up at 5am.

A contract to run the unit was expected to be awarded by the end of May. However a spokesman for the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee said this will now not happen until mid August, due to changes to the original legal contract.

A preferred bidder should be confirmed by next Monday, with the contract awarded between mid and late August.

“Depending on which company is awarded the contract it could be between four and 12 weeks before the permanent Withybush Dialysis unit is operational,” said the spokesman.

This means the unit should be up and running by mid September at the earliest or, in a worst case scenario, not until November.

Tony Wales, former chairman of the Pembrokeshire branch of the Hywel Dda Community Health Council, called the situation a “bureaucratic nightmare”.

“The minister needs to get hold of these people and knock their heads together to get some information as to why people are being denied the treatment they are entitled to,” he said.

“Enough is enough. We are becoming a laughing stock.”

Dialysis patient representative Alex Cottrell, who has been involved with the unit since its inception added: “We’ve been at this for ten years and gone through three ministers.

“If it was McDonalds it would be up and running – they would be frying the chips, they would have pulled out all the stops.

“It’s a beautiful building, we just have to get the patients in there.”

Comments (1)

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8:50pm Sun 27 Jul 14

pembs resident says...

Haemodialysis is the treatment people receive when they have Chronic/critical end stage Kidney Failure and are awaiting a transplant. Sadly for some they can't go on the transplant list for various reasons and they are on Haemodialysis as a last resort. It's a very harsh treatment and afterwards the patients completely zonk out for the rest of the day. My hubby has been waiting for the gift of a transplant for 7 long Years. We have been waiting for this unit to open for what seems a very, very long time now! At the moment there are only 6 places in the temporary demountable at the back of the hospital, that's why so many people have to travel to Morriston, Carmarthen, Cardiff or Aberystwyth every other day for treatment. The contract was actually awarded in May, but at the last minuite the Health Board have decided to become the first in the UK to make the service provider pay for all the Capitol costs. No one knows if the service provider will accept this yet... it's ridiculous really!! The building was completed on time last November, all the delays have been down to legal arguements over cost!
Haemodialysis is the treatment people receive when they have Chronic/critical end stage Kidney Failure and are awaiting a transplant. Sadly for some they can't go on the transplant list for various reasons and they are on Haemodialysis as a last resort. It's a very harsh treatment and afterwards the patients completely zonk out for the rest of the day. My hubby has been waiting for the gift of a transplant for 7 long Years. We have been waiting for this unit to open for what seems a very, very long time now! At the moment there are only 6 places in the temporary demountable at the back of the hospital, that's why so many people have to travel to Morriston, Carmarthen, Cardiff or Aberystwyth every other day for treatment. The contract was actually awarded in May, but at the last minuite the Health Board have decided to become the first in the UK to make the service provider pay for all the Capitol costs. No one knows if the service provider will accept this yet... it's ridiculous really!! The building was completed on time last November, all the delays have been down to legal arguements over cost! pembs resident
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