Patients at the Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli can now watch DVDs while they are having surgery.
After a successful fundraiser to buy iPods for patients, staff found they had some money left over - and had the idea to buy a portable DVD player, to enable patients to watch films and TV to pass the time in surgery and recovery.
Geoff Thomas, from Pemberton in Llanelli, was the first patient to benefit: "Being able to watch something whilst in surgery was a great help to pass the time. The distraction really helped my experience.”
Nurse manager Angela Festa, who works in Recovery Anaesthetics at Prince Philip Hospital, said: "There are studies that show that the use of music and television is therapeutic and can ease the stress of surgery."
"Now that we can offer sedation or Pirates of the Caribbean, it is amazing to see how much quicker our patients recover after their surgery when choosing to stay alert to watch a film."
Patients due to receive a spinal anaesthetic at Prince Philip Hospital are now offered the choice to watch a film or listen to music during their surgery. They can choose from a number of DVDs - or bring their own.
Hywel Dda Health Board has released its proposals following a consultation into healthcare in mid and west Wales.
One move which attracted criticism was to turn Llanelli's Prince Philip Hospital's A&E department into a nurse-led "Urgent Care Centre."
Concerns were raised by the public that without a full A&E department patients would have to travel to Bronglais, Glangwili and Withybush Hospital.
Physicians at the hospital also opposed the change on the grounds of "patient safety", saying:
As a team of physicians we are not prepared to support a nurse led A & E unit at Prince Philip Hospital as we are not prepared to work outside our area of clinical competence. For these reasons we are totally opposed to the proposed changes for a nurse led A&E on the grounds of patient safety.
The health board says it has "recognised' the concerns of the public and clinicians, however, a document released today shows that the full A&E department will no longer exist and in its place will be a doctor supported, nurse led service that will include a 24/7 assessment and admission service.
A final decision on controversial changes to health services in mid and west Wales will be made at a meeting of Hywel Dda Health Board this morning.
The proposals include:
- closing Mynydd Mawr Community Hospital in Llanelli
- downgrading Llanelli's Prince Phillip Hospital's A&E to an 'urgent care centre'
- centralising maternity care and developing specialist paediatric services, including a Complex Obstetric Unit at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen
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Hundreds of people living around Llanelli and the Gwendraeth Valley have staged a fresh demonstration at the Senedd over the future of their local hospital.
Ten coach loads of protestors took part in the demonstration.
Hywel Dda Health board say they are looking to make their services as effiecnt as possible and they have encouraged all staff and members of the public to express their views in a listening exercise.
They say that no decision has been made and that any changes proposed would need to be safe.
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