IT is worrying that when money becomes available for schools or hospitals it always seems that the one idea is to build a large prestigious state-of-the-art building.

Surely it would be better spent on looking into management and staff numbers so as to use existing buildings better.

Both schools and hospitals need more staff for a variety of reasons, including work.

I’m thinking now about Withybush hospital. Recently a renal unit has been built, the A&E unit rebuilt, and the friends have just supplied the wonderful heart monitors.

Why is Withybush not a first-class hospital? What can be done about the bed blocking? Why is it so difficult to persuade good doctors and specialists to come and work here – in our lovely county?

The bed blocking may need new build to accommodate patients who are well enough to go home but cannot yet manage on their own, a pleasant convalescent unit would not be too costly.

Whether the cottage hospitals could fill the bill, with maybe a little extension and a garden space to walk and sit in the sun when it shines.

I suspect there is interference from outside which makes things awkward, wastes time and tries the patience of doctors and nursing staff alike. I sometimes hear the cry ‘bring back matron’!

And to downgrade Glangwili so soon after improvements have been made there is just as wasteful and frightening.

No matter how wonderful a new hospital out in the blue is, if it is too far away it is not much comfort in a real emergency. It could be too long a journey to save the situation.

There are better ways to use big dollops of money. Please, Hywel Dda, think again. It is a less exciting prospect to use Withybush and Glangwili more wisely, increasing staff numbers simplifying management and dare I say it, keeping out of the way, except when wanted/needed.

J Folder Neyland