Final approval for Bronglais scheme in Aberystwyth
Final approval has been given for a major multi-million pound upgrade of mid Wales' only district general hospital.
The scheme at Bronglais in Aberystwyth, which includes a three-storey A&E unit, will cost £38m.
Plans were unveiled in 2008, but since then a day surgery has been added to the project.
A new car park, part of the original plan, has already opened at the hospital.
The work is designed to improve patient care, cut waiting times and reduce the risk of infection at the hospital which serves people in Ceredigion, south Gwynedd and north Powys.
As part of the package, a three-storey building will be built housing a new accident and emergency department and the day surgery ward, which is designed to ease pressure on hospital wards.
Much of the work is already underway.
Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "This major investment in modernising Bronglais Hospital secures its long-term future.
"The new facilities will improve patient care by ensuring the health board can sustain and improve on our waiting times targets and improve the working environment of staff."
The scheme also includes a new GP out-of-hours services, while the purpose-built day surgery unit will include two day case theatres.
There will also be a short-stay surgical ward, a new maternity unit and improvements to pathology services.
The next phase of the work is set to begin in May and it is expected to be completed by February 2013.
Chairman of Hywel Dda Health Board, Chris Martin said: "This significant funding approval made by Welsh Assembly Government secures the future of Bronglais as a district general hospital.
"I hope this will reassure the public about our commitment to ongoing investment into the future of health and social services in Ceredigion."