New £64m Valleys Hospital Backed

Plans for a new £64m community hospital in the Cynon Valley have been approved by the Welsh Assembly Government. The 128-bed facility in Mountain Ash aims at replacing two local old community hospitals by the end of 2010.

It will provide mental health and palliative care, a birthing unit and also a proposed £10m dental unit to include training for students.

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons said it would “dramatically improve health services” in the Cynon Valley. According to the assembly government, the development will include a nurse practitioner-led minor injuries unit, alongside the out-of-hours service. The new developments will replace Mountain Ash and Aberdare community hospitals.

Dr Gibbons said the community hospital would reduce “the need for people to travel to get the care they need. “These new services will also help to reduce waiting times, specifically for diagnostic tests, and reduce pressure on neighbouring accident and emergency units. The plans meet the aims of Designed for Life in that more services will be provided closer to the patient, with many services on offer under one roof.”

North Glamorgan NHS Trust planning director Marie Thorn added: “It has taken a lot of work and commitment from Trust and local health board staff to progress the plan to this stage. Both organisations are delighted to have received approval to progress the proposals to the final planning stage. It is our aim to have the hospital completed before the end of 2010.”

Proposals for a replacement hospital were first unveiled in June 2005. The old Mountain Ash community hospital is more than 80 years old, while Aberdare community hospital opened during World War I, before it was rebuilt following a fire in the 1920s.