£20m Flagship Investment For Merthyr Tydfil

An integrated town hospital and Wellbeing Centre, with an estimated cost of £20m that will be a flagship for integrated community services in Wales, has been announced by the Health and Social Services Minister Dr Brian Gibbons.

Dr Gibbons welcomed Merthyr health community’s planned new building which will provide a mix of frontline health and social services alongside care for people with long term conditions.

The local health community believe the centre provides a unique opportunity to co-locate and redesign services across health and social care to optimise the performance of community based services. They aim to improve services by removing the boundaries between services and provide a one-stop community centre for health and social services.

A revised strategic plan, submitted by North Glamorgan NHS Trust in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Local Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil, was agreed by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Capital Investment Board yesterday (Wednesday 28 March 2007).

Dr Gibbons announced the decision on a visit to the Accident and Emergency Unit at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr. “When I visited this hospital just before last Christmas I announced a range of projects with a capital cost of some £65m designed to enhance the hospital itself,” said Dr Gibbons.

“Today, I am delighted to announce the approval of the initial stage of the business case process for a proposed Town hospital and Wellbeing Centre for Merthyr Tydfil. This adds a further significant investment of £20m  to the announcements made In December.”

The proposal aims to pull together the development and cross agency delivery of a raft of services for primary, community and local authority health and social care. The intention is not only to reduce the incidence of hospital admissions and reliance on support services but also to actively maintain and support people to improve their health and wellbeing.

Following approval of the outline plan, local services can now develop the detail in a business case that is expected to include Mental Health Services, Children’s Services, Services for Long Term Conditions, Contraceptive & Sexual Health Services and Primary Care Services.

Dr Gibbons added: “The recommendations from the recent Beecham review emphasised the need for local public services to become more integrated in terms of service delivery and to optimise opportunities to share support functions where there are economies of scale.

“This principle is central to the delivery of the Merthyr Tydfil Community Strategy and fundamental to the development of the Town hospital and Wellbeing Centre. This proposed investment will complement a range of local community developments including the Lifelong Learning Campus and Leisure Centre complex which, taken together will provide a locally integrated approach to the delivery of the key themes in the Community Strategy.”