Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) has announced it will transfer all patients currently being treated at Llandovery Community Hospital, in Llandovery, to Amman Valley Hospital, in Ammanford.
HDUHB approved the temporary measure after considering a number of options, and following close consultation with community stakeholders, including local GPs, the Community Health Council and elected officials. The move will mean there will be no inpatients at Llandovery Community Hospital.
At present, both hospitals are caring for COVID-19 positive patients in isolation and according to infection prevention guidelines, with appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment and social distancing.
However, a number of staff, including nurses, at the two hospitals have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating. This has led to significant constraints on the workforce at both sites, which has meant sustaining both community nursing and community hospital services has been a challenge.
The transfer of patients will begin this week. There will be no increased risk to any patients at Amman Valley Hospital, as all COVID-19 patients will continue to be treated under strict isolation conditions.
The decision to move patients to Amman Valley Hospital is due to it having a greater capacity to care for patients than Llandovery Community Hospital. Following the transfer, Llandovery Community Hospital will undergo a deep clean and re-open as a COVID-19 free facility (Green site). The hospital is expected to re-open in early January once staffing levels have returned to normal. HDUHB will monitor the situation and update the public ahead of time.
Jill Paterson, Director of Primary Care, Community and Long Term Care for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our patients is of paramount importance, so this decision has been made after due consideration was given to a number of options. Ultimately, this is a clinical decision taken in the best interests of patients, at a time when there is an unprecedented pressure on the service.
“The staffing challenges meant it is not possible to sustain care to patients at both sites. By consolidating resources at one site, we will maintain safer staffing levels. This is the best option to ensure all patients receive the highest standards of care.
“Additionally, the move to one site will provide the added benefit of easing pressure at our acute sites, because as staff who are currently self-isolating return to work, they will be able to support patients at our other hospitals.
“I can assure the communities of both Llandovery and Ammanford that this is a temporary measure and we fully intend to re-open Llandovery Community Hospital in early January.”