The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport in Wales has approved funding of £1.2 million for a second phase of improvements to maternity and neonatal services at Glangwili Hospital.

Vaughan Gething approved the £1.209 million funding for Hywel Dda University Health Board last week to develop a full business case for the work.

The cash boost allows the health board to bring forward plans to make Glangwili Hospital more accessible to patients while improving the labour ward and neonatal unit at the site.

The funding approval follows a meeting staff members at Glangwili Hospital had with the minister at the midwife-led unit and paediatrics unit at the Carmarthen based hospital last August.

Speaking after his visit, Vaughan Gething said: “It is good to see the changes to women and children’s services made in 2014 have resulted in better patient outcomes and improved compliance with standards.

“This has been backed up by the findings in the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health report and everyone involved should be extremely proud of the high levels of care they are providing to mothers and children.”

During the visit last year, the Cabinet Secretary heard about the local health board’s plans for a Phase Two project which aims improve the environment in the labour ward, maternity theatres and the Special Care Baby Unit at Glangwili Hospital.

Speaking about the recent announcement, Mr Gething added: “I am pleased to announced this funding which will allow Hywel Dda to develop plans to improve facilities at Glangwili

“The project will make improvements to women and children’s services and we want people in west Wales to have access to the best quality neonatal and maternity services, this funding will go a long way to help deliver that ambition.”

The Welsh Government expects to receive the business case by the summer.

Steve Moore, Hywel Dda Board chief executive, said: “We are delighted the Welsh Government has given us support to move to the next stage in this capital development project.

“For us this is an important further step in providing improved facilities for our families and staff using Glangwili Hospital’s maternity and special care baby services.”

Labour AM for Mid and West Wales, Eluned Morgan, has welcomed the decision of the Welsh Labour Government to fund expanded neo-natal and maternity services locally commenting: “Patients deserve better and that is why I would like to see some pace that provides assurance to expectant parents that they will continue to receive the very best care in a facility that can accommodate new parents and babies from Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire.”