Renovation work to transform a former office block in Aberaeron into a brand new Integrated Care Centre with health and social care services has begun after Welsh Government officials gave it the green light.
At a special ceremony, the Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Mrs Bernadine OBE, handed over the keys for the Minaeron building to Jeff Lewis, Director of building contractors Lewis Construction, in the company of local dignitaries from across healthcare and the local authority.
Hywel Dda University Health Board acquired Minaeron – a former office block dating back to the 1970s – with the help of Welsh Government funding after it was concluded that Aberaeron Hospital is no longer fit for purpose in delivering modern day healthcare provision.
While the hospital has played an important part in providing services to the population of Aberaeron and the surrounding area, Minaeron offers significant improvements both in terms of physical access and service provision, with the planned inclusion of Tanyfron GP Practice leading to a truly integrated centre with significant improvements in patient pathways.
Mrs Rees said: “I’m delighted to be able to formally mark the start of the renovation works at Minaeron following a successful business case application to Welsh Government and excellent partnership working with our colleagues in the local authority, the CHC and Tanyfron surgery.
“This is a really exciting time for us all as we continue to develop integrated health and social care facilities for our communities. This will allow us to provide a broad, multi-disciplinary service for local people as close to their homes as possible.”
The development of the Aberaeron Integrated Care Centre will home as a minimum:
• Clinical Services and support staff from Aberaeron Hospital;
• District Nursing teams
• GP Practice
• Office staff currently based at Felinfach property;
• Existing staff currently based at Minaeron –Ceredigion county management team;
• Public Health staff from Tregaron (subject to consultation);
• Local Authority Social Services and Mental Health staff;
• Additional staff from Bronglais or other HB facilities who were relocated when the Aberaron Hospital upper floor was vacated.
Peter Skitt, Hywel Dda’s County Director and Commissioner for Ceredigion, added: “The Minaeron development represents another hugely significant step in our journey to provide care as close to home as possible. By integrating health and social care we can provide a range of different services in the community so that we’re not just treating our patients’ medical conditions – we’re also looking after their long term welfare in a way that has been spoken about for a long time but hasn’t really been fully delivered.
“I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has helped to bring this project to fruition and commend them for their hard work as we look forward to the next phase of this important development.”
Photos: Representatives from healthcare and the local authority at a Handing Over of Keys ceremony in Minaeron.