THE new multi-million pound Withybush Hospital dialysis unit will finally open later this month after a tender for renal dialysis services in west Wales was completed.

The Minister of Health and Social Services has approved the recommendation to award the contract to Fresenius Medical Care Renal Services Ltd, meaning the new Withybush unit will open on September 29th.

The opening of the £7m+ facility has been significantly delayed while the tender process has been completed.

Fresenius has a long history of providing dialysis in west Wales, and is the current provider of dialysis services in the region.

The contract will start this month and run for a minimum of seven years. It will include:

• Providing a haemodialysis service at the new 21 station permanent dialysis unit at Withybush Hospital.

• Providing a haemodialysis service at the 30 station permanent dialysis unit at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen.

• Developing a space within the Padarn Surgery facility in Aberystwyth and subsequently providing a haemodialysis service at the resultant 12 station permanent dialysis unit. In the interim, Fresenius will continue to provide a haemodialysis at the current unit on the Bronglias Hospital site.

The Withybush unit will be operational on Monday September 29th.

Initially it will open with six stations and patients at the existing temporary unit at the back of the Withybush Hospital site will transfer into the new unit.

The unit will then expand in numbers as patients currently travelling to the Carmarthen unit will be transferred.

As well as the provision of haemodialysis, the units all have additional clinical spaces which are to be utilised by the renal services from Swansea to provide local treatments such as IV Iron administration, home therapy training and additional clinics for dialysis and renal patients.

Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Executive Director of Planning and Integration / Therapies and Health Science Kathryn Davies said: “It is excellent news that this provision has been agreed, and particularly good news for Pembrokeshire that the new unit will be accepting patients from the end of September. Our staff have worked hard to deliver this unit, which will provide a modern facility and latest healthcare technology for the benefit of local patients.”

Director of Specialised and Tertiary Services at the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee John Palmer said: “I am grateful for all the hard work put in by staff from across NHS Wales to deliver this contract. It demonstrates the value of collaboration in delivering high quality care locally. This package of developments will provide major improvements in meeting the dialysis needs of the whole West Wales population for the long term.”