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Work under way on new dialysis unit that will save Bridgend patients a long journey

Image shows an artist

Work is now under way on a new dialysis unit in Bridgend as part of a £70 million, 10-year investment across South Wales.

The development at a former gym at The Triangle shopping centre in Brackla is one of two new units that Swansea Bay University Health Board is progressing in response to a sharp increase in demand.

Renal services are provided by Swansea Bay for people in its own area as well as those in Hywel Dda and Cwm Taf Morgannwg health boards.

Existing services include two haemodialysis units at Morriston Hospital – which receive patients from Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend – and one each in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Haverfordwest.

Image shows two people in a building site. With funding from the NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee, some major improvements have already been carried out, such as upgrading the five existing haemodialysis units in South West Wales.

Two of these are at Morriston Hospital, with one each in Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and Haverfordwest. Patients there are already benefiting from new dialysis machines and other facilities and equipment.

(Sarah Siddell, Directorate Manager Renal, Morriston Hospital, and Renal Matron Lisa Morris)

However, the health board also recognises there is a need for additional dialysis units, covering the Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas.

This will allow patients, who currently have to travel to Morriston or Llantrisant, to be treated closer to home.

It will also relieve some of the pressure on Morriston, where increased demand has led to some patients having to be dialysed during the evenings, which is not ideal.

The Bridgend unit will be run on behalf of Swansea Bay by Fresenius Medical Care, which also runs the three West Wales units, and is anticipated to open in November.

It will include 21 dialysis stations with a maximum capacity of 84 patients to allow for future increased demand – all of them dialysing by day.

Sarah Siddell, Directorate Manager for renal, said: “The start of work is a milestone, signifying a substantial advancement in the provision of services for renal patients in Bridgend and across South West Wales.

Image shows a group of people inside a building that is being redeveloped. “This state-of-the-art, purpose-built dialysis unit will enable patients to access care close to their homes, enhancing their quality of life by minimising travel time and receiving care in a more convenient location.

“The feedback from patients regarding the estimated opening date has been very encouraging. They are eagerly anticipating its use.

“I commend the efforts of the Swansea Bay renal team, Welsh Kidney Network and Fresenius for their dedication in achieving this milestone. Their hard work and commitment have been integral to our progress.”

(Phil Pearson, far right, contracts manager for Sandycroft Projects, explains to representatives of Swansea Bay University Health Board and Fresenius Medical Care how the former Physique gym in Brackla will be expanded and transformed into a new dialysis centre)

Meanwhile, Swansea Bay’s renal team and Fresenius are also working together on plans for the new unit for Neath Port Talbot, due to open sometime next year.

A site was identified in Port Talbot, only for that to become unavailable for reasons beyond the health board’s control.

“We have linked with Neath Port Talbot Council to find alternative sites,” Sarah added.

“One has now been identified and, while we continue to look for other locations, a planning application will be submitted to avoid delay in the event no other site is available.”

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