Health Secretary opens two new cutting-edge clinical units at Llanelli hospital


Welsh Health Secretary Vaughan Gething paid a visit to Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital to officially open two new cutting-edge clinical units, which new figures show are already among the best-performing in the UK.
The Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) and Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) were completed earlier this year, as part of the health board’s Welsh Government funded £1.4m Front of House project.
Since opening, the units have achieved impressive performance results in waiting times, discharge rates and patient satisfaction.
The Welsh Government awarded the funding to allow the implementation of the new model of unscheduled care services.
The ‘Front of House’ scheme is a new model of unscheduled care services and has improved the area, separating the Acute Medical Assessment Unit, the Minor Injuries Unit and the Out of Hours GP Service.
The new unit will see the Minor Injuries Unit run by GPs and Emergency Nurse Practitioners working together - enabling patients to just ‘walk’ in to the service to be treated for a range of minor injuries.
Since the new model of care was introduced earlier this year, the four hour emergency care facilities performance has improved from a monthly average of 88.4% to 96.6%, meaning that patients do not have to wait excessively long periods of time to see a member of the clinical team.
The number of acute medical admission patients discharged in less than 24-hours has increased from 30% to 47%, meaning that people who do not need to stay in hospital are safely discharged home.
The hospital is also able to recruit the staff it needs and no longer has to rely on short term locum doctor cover, while a Community Health Council (CHC) survey has shown improved patient satisfaction.
Hospital Director of Prince Philip Hospital and Consultant Respiratory Physician Dr Robin Ghosal said: “It was a proud day for Prince Philip Hospital to officially open the new AMAU and MIU. The new, modernised way of providing emergency care for the population has been a great success both in terms of providing a state of the art facility and also in the delivery of first class acute care.
“I'd particularly like to thank Dr Sian Lewis, who was the Project Lead and guided us through this journey. I'd also like to thank Brian Hitchman from SOSSPAN, the Rural County Council and the CHC for their support through the process."
Mr Gething was welcomed at the hospital by clinical staff, managers and local dignitaries and was taken on a tour of the breast care unit, the AMAU and MIU before unveiling two plaques to commemorate the official opening of the facilities.
The units form a new model of clinically-led care which is aimed at achieving optimal patient flow through the hospital by splitting minor and major streams, with direct admission for the sickest patients into the AMAU.
Vaughan Gething said: “I was delighted to open these new ‘front of house’ units, which are helping to transform the emergency care facilities at Prince Philip Hospital to ensure patients are seen by the right person, in the right place, first time.
“The units will help ensure that through Prince Philip Hospital, the people of Llanelli and the surrounding area experience excellent healthcare.”

Photo: Vaughan Gething discusses the new Front of House model with clinicians and managers at Prince Philip Hospital.

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