INCREASED travel times to hospital for vital treatment will affect some Powys residents from November.

Consultant-led emergency care, including A&E, maternity and neonatal services and paediatric services will transfer to the new Grange University Hospital from Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny.

The £360m facility – in Cwmbran – is due to open in mid-November, four months ahead of schedule, and will provide emergency and urgent care for many patients in Powys who previously relied on Nevill Hall.

If Nevill Hall is currently your nearest District General Hospital then you will now visit a different one. This could be Merthyr Tydfil’s Prince Charles Hospital, County Hospital in Hereford or the new super hospital in the Llanfrechfa area of Cwmbran.

Many patients in the south of Powys currently split hospital visits between Hereford and Abergavenny. But what would be a 33-mile, hour-long trip from Builth Wells to Abergavenny, for example, could now be extended by 25 minutes and 15 miles to Cwmbran.

Welsh Government health minister Vaughan Gething said last month that the early opening would help the region cope should an expected second Covid-19 spike hit Wales this winter.

The majority of the care you receive from hospitals in Gwent will remain unchanged. Nevill Hall will continue to provide a wide range of services including nurse-led minor injury unit, outpatient appointments, diagnostics and planned procedures.

However, from November, if you need more complex care that was previously provided at Nevill Hall, you may be referred to a different hospital. This includes: inpatient surgery requiring overnight stay, consultant-led births and inpatient children’s services, urgent and emergency care for children up to their first birthday, consultant A&E services and some acute admissions.

These changes aim to ensure that patients receive faster access to lifesaving care.

This will help to ensure the right team of people with the right skills and experience is available 24 hours a day and patients can receive prompt care that delivers great outcomes with reduced risk of complications.