HYWEL Dda University Health Board has now restarted a number of outpatient services that were recently suspended due to the RAAC concrete at Withybush Hospital.

However, the services will be at other locations across the county as the health board and its contractors continue to investigate the extent of the faulty Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) planks in the building.

The material was commonly used in the construction of buildings such as hospitals and schools between the 1960s and 1990s and it was found to be present at the Haverfordwest-based hospital in the summer.

A number of in-patients had to be moved from the hospital to other facilities due to the RAAC presence and the outpatients A building was closed completely to carry out the survey work. This led to a reduction in appointments of 50 per cent.

Many outpatient services were re-located throughout the health board area whilst management looked to find suitable accommodation in the county.

This now means that all of the outpatient services that were affected by the work have been placed in new locations which is set to last until next summer when the original outpatients A building at Withybush is hoped to be able to be used again.

Three wards at Withybush are expected to re-open by Christmas but work will be continuing over the current and next financial years to address the state of the damaged planks. It is hoped that all the affected wards will be opened again by April 2024, but remedial work to the ground floors will continue into the April 2025 financial year.

Andrew Carruthers, director of operations at the health board, said: “We are really pleased that the outpatients services have been relocated so quickly while we work to repair the RAAC-affected outpatients’ clinical areas in Withybush.

“We know that the survey work and remedial action has caused considerable disruption and concern among members of our community, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

“The health board would like to thank hospital staff, patients and visitors for their patience and understanding over the last months while we have been carrying out this essential work.”

The health board will be writing to patients to confirm the date, time and location of their appointments and will ring patients whose appointments are imminent.

Mr Carruthers said: “We urge everybody to please read the appointment letter carefully and note any change of venue, as appointments previously held at Withybush Hospital may now be held at a community healthcare site. Please leave plenty of time for your journey as parking is quite limited at some of the locations.”

There is a reduced phlebotomy capacity at Withybush Hospital and patients are asked to not attend without an appointment and patients may need to make a further appointment to attend on another day if the room is closed on the same day as their appointment. Appointments can be requested by calling 01437 772433.

Patients are asked to use their own transport or public transport to appointments if possible. If unable to do so, patient transport can be accessed by calling 0300 1232303.

Patients with any concerns or needing further information can contact the waiting list support service at ask.hdd@wales.nhs.uk or by calling 0300 3038322 and choosing option 3.