Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

2. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care – in the Senedd at on 5 June 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Labour 2:56, 5 June 2024

The Welsh Government is working closely with the health board to improve access to safe and timely health and care services. This includes an additional £2.74 million to support improvements in urgent and emergency care this year.

Photo of Samuel Kurtz Samuel Kurtz Conservative

Thank you, Cabinet Secretary. In January 2022, Hywel Dda University Health Board announced a timetable for the building of the new west Wales hospital. This suggested a timescale of seven years from the identification of the final site to the opening of the hospital, with the aim of opening in late 2029. Following a written question to you and questions asked of the health board by The Pembrokeshire Herald newspaper, it has become apparent that no firm date exists for the final decision to be taken on the hospital's location, let alone any revised indication of when the hospital will open, if at all. An axe has hung over the futures of Glangwili and Withybush hospitals for over 17 years now, leading to uncertainty for staff and patients alike. So, please, provide some clarity: what on earth is going on?

Photo of Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Labour 2:57, 5 June 2024

I will, but let me remind you that it was the Conservatives who stopped the proposal to build a new hospital in west Wales several years ago. And if it had been followed through at that time and if you hadn't led a campaign—you, the Tories, led a campaign against the west Wales hospital—it would've been up and running by now. The Conservatives have got to take their share of responsibility for the fact that there is not already a west Wales hospital. There has never been an axe hanging over Withybush or Glangwili. And let me be absolutely clear that—[Interruption.] Let me be clear that part of the responsibility for the fact that there is no west Wales hospital already lies directly with the Conservative Party.