Plans for Llanelli Breast Care Centre16 February 2007, Welsh Government
First Minister Rhodri Morgan will today meet staff and patients at Prince Phillip Hospital, Llanelli to discuss their plans for expanding the Breast Care Centre.
The strategic outline case includes extra examination and consulting rooms in a one-stop clinic, along with two dedicated mammography rooms, two treatment rooms and an extension to the surgical wards.
Currently, the Breast Care Centre, which opened in 2001, provides all inpatient, outpatient and mammography services for women in Carmarthenshire. But patients have to make two trips to the hospital - one to the radiography department for a mammogram and the second, on a different day, to the Breast Care Unit itself.
The First Minister said: "The proposals would improve access to breast care services in West Wales and speed up diagnosis and treatment.
"The Welsh Assembly Government is committed to improving surgical services at Prince Phillip Hospital. Our approval of the Trust's plans to enhance breast care services in Llanelli clearly demonstrates this. The Trust can now press ahead with finalising their proposals and get work on the developments under way.
"The £4.2million proposal is in line with current modern practice and the service will aim to respond to patients' needs for high quality services providing effective clinical interventions and continuity of care."
Paul Barnett, chief executive of Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, said: "We are very grateful to the Welsh Assembly Government for the investment being made into Carmarthenshire hospitals, and indeed throughout West Wales. This project will be of enormous benefit to breast patients in Carmarthenshire and throughout the region and will confirm to patients in Llanelli the commitment to health services within Prince Philip Hospital."
While at the hospital, the First Minister also discussed the Trust's plans to develop a day and short stay surgical unit and endoscopy suite.
"The expansion of day and short stay surgery will extend the range of procedures on offer at Prince Philip Hospital.
"Both Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons and I look forward to seeing the detail of these proposals. I understand that the Trust expects to be in a position to submit their plans to the NHS Capital Investment Board in March for approval.
"We see the future for Prince Philip as being a centre for surgical excellence, and the development of the short stay surgical unit and endoscopy suite would be a further important development in bringing this about."
The First Minister will be visiting the Breast Care Centre at Prince Phillip Hospital at 3pm today [Friday, 16 February] to meet staff and patients where he will announce the Welsh Assembly Government's approval of the Trust's Strategic Outline Case for the expansion of breast care services.
The Strategic Outline Case is the first of a three-stage Business Case process that aims to ensure public money is well spent and that the developments will meet future health needs of the area. The next stage is the Outline Business Case to determine the best option and the Full Business Case enables the Trust to develop detailed design and final costings.