TEMPORARY hospitals set up across the Hywel Dda health authority area in the face of the coronavirus pandemic look set to stay for the foreseeable future.

A total of seven temporary field hospitals were converted from council leisure centres, sport and recreational facilities across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.

One of those is Pembrokeshire's Bluestone National Park Resort.

Bluestone chief executive, William McNamara, has previously said: “It is right that Bluestone is utilised in this time of great national need. We all want – and need – to do whatever we can to make a difference and contribute to tackling the unfolding coronavirus."

Similar facilities exist at Aberystwyth, Parc Y Scarlets and the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli and and Cardigan leisure centre.

And health chiefs have confirmed that while the sites may be currently ‘hibernating’, they may well still be needed in the future to cope with any second wave of coronavirus cases or for other general medical purposes.

Andrew Carruthers, director of operations at Hywel Dda health board, said: “We are fortunate to have received so much support in the setting up of the field hospitals in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

“While the field hospitals are currently ‘hibernating’, these facilities are available to respond quickly and flexibly should there be another peak in Covid cases, or increased demand on services in our acute hospitals.

“Covid unfortunately is not going to simply go away, and so we need to base our plans not just on how we manage Covid patients, but also how we can restart other services and provide continuity of care across the system during the next 12 months or longer.

“This includes exploring different uses of our facilities to manage activity and the new associated national clinical and infection prevention and control guidance.

“We are also in constant dialogue with the local authorities and other site owners in regards to when it may be appropriate to repurpose any sites back to their substantive use.”