Politicians from across the political divide have voiced their disappointment that Pembrokeshire dialysis patients will have to wait until at least September before they can receive their treatment at Withybush Hospital's new renal unit.
As reported in last week's Western Telegraph, the original contract to run the £7.8 million unit, which was completed in April, has had to be re-tendered due to legal complications.
Mid and West Assembly Member, Simon Thomas, who last month tabled a question to Health Minister Mark Drakeford on when the unit would be operational, said that patients in Pembrokeshire had been waiting "far too long" for this important unit:
"It is disappointing to see this delay in the opening of the new renal unit," he said. "I will be keeping a track on the timetable."
Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies also fiercely criticised the delay:
"I am angry at these continuing delays in the opening of this facility," he said. "To have the building lying empty for at least six months and possibly more is totally unacceptable.
"I have had a number of constituents contact me to express their anger that they have to continue travelling to Carmarthen for their dialysis, sometimes leaving Pembrokeshire very early in the morning, literally passing the door of the empty building.
"I have now written to the minister to highlight this continuing shambles and to ask him to take the necessary action to allow this unit to finally open. I have also asked the minister to carry out a thorough review into what has gone so badly wrong with this tendering process so that lessons can be learnt for future projects."
According to the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee a preferred bidder to run the renal unit will be submitted to Welsh Government for ministerial approval by the end of this week. The contract should be awarded in the second half of August and the renal unit operational between four and 12 weeks after that.