Scarlets Rugby have been working together with Carmarthenshire County Council and the Hywel Dda University Health Board to provide additional beds, if needed, during the COVD-19 pandemic.
Various Parc y Scarlets locations, including the Juno Moneta Indoor Arena, are being converted for the use of the NHS over the coming days with provision for up to 500 beds at the stadium.
Scarlets general manager of rugby Jon Daniels said: “Community has always been a huge part of what the Scarlets is about and in unprecedented times like these communities stick together.
“The health service and workers are doing an incredible job in challenging circumstances and we are happy to be offering help and support in any way we can.
“We would urge everyone to follow the latest NHS advice on protecting themselves from the virus, particularly to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.”
Carmarthenshire County Council is working with the health authority to put hundreds of additional beds in place in the event they will be required by the NHS over the coming weeks.
Contractors have been commissioned to convert spaces at Carmarthen Leisure Centre and – with the support of Llanelli Town Council – the Selwyn Samuel Centre, while Parc y Scarlets has also offered a large part of its site and buildings for free to the local authority.
Dr Phil Kloer, medical director and deputy chief executive at Hywel Dda, said: “Delivering these additional beds for patients will be essential to help us manage patient flow over the coming weeks and we are extremely grateful for all of the support that we are receiving from our local authority partner to help make this happen.
“We have followed the situation in Italy closely to learn where possible and to help our planning. Our European colleagues have provided feedback that patient flow and throughput is a critical factor in response to COVID-19 pressures.”
Cllr Jane Tremlett, Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for health and social care, said: “It is critical the NHS and Local Government pool their expertise in these extraordinary times to ensure we take this emergency action.
“It is only through working together that we can meet these challenges. I would like to thank Llanelli Town Council and Parc y Scarlets for their support.”
Speaking jointly, Jake Morgan, Carmarthenshire County Council’s director for communities, and Andrew Carruthers, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s director of operations, said: “Details in relation to these facilities are being developed with clinicians. These will be NHS managed facilities with many support services provided by the local authority and existing commercial partners.
“Developing these at pace is our priority and we hope that some elements of these facilities will be operational at the beginning of May.
“The Health Board is working very closely with all three of our local authorities to develop similar facilities and further information will be provided as these measures progress.”