Withybush Hospital will have a new Renal Dialysis Unit despite concerns earlier this year that the unit would never be built.

Welsh Government Health Minister Lesley Griffiths has announced that a £7.5million upgrade will go ahead with construction beginning before the end of the summer.

In April the Renal Network UK pulled out of plans to build a 21 station state-of-the-art renal unit at Withybush Hospital citing cost of altering the road infrastructure and car park.

Mrs Griffiths announced yesterday (Tuesday) that the 21 station unit will go ahead within the hospital grounds meaning more patients will have the opportunity to undergo treatment locally.

The Renal Dialysis Unit currently operates in a temporary building housing only six stations. Although it has been designed to facilitate haemodialysis, it was only intended for use as an interim facility.

The new unit will deliver vital renal services for the patients of West Wales, providing environmental and patient focussed designs required of modern renal unit.

Building will start on site in August 2012 and could be complete by early 2014.

Mrs Griffiths said: “I am delighted to announce this funding. The number of patients relying on dialysis continues to increase and this unit will be ideally placed to accommodate the growth in demand.

“At a time of such perceived uncertainty, this demonstrates the Welsh Government is committed to improving services in Wales to make them safe and sustainable for now and into the future.”

The announcement was welcomed by Mid and West Wales AMs Joyce Watson and Rebecca Evans.

Mrs Watson said: “My husband Wally used to install dialysis facilities when he worked for the NHS – I know how much it affects people’s lives. Having a permanent unit so close to home will have a huge benefit in terms of patients’ quality of life.

“It is exactly what Pembrokeshire’s dialysis patients and their families have called for – a permanent home for renal care at Withybush.

“Patients that I spoke to argued that building the unit at Withybush, with access to proper medical care, was absolutely crucial for both their safety and their peace of mind. So I am delighted by the Minister’s ongoing commitment to this project and to Withybush Hospital.”