CARDIGAN leisure centre is being transformed as work continues to turn it into a temporary hospital in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The site is one of three across Ceredigion - alongside Plascrug leisure centre and Penweddig School in Aberystwyth - undergoing conversion in a joint venture between Ceredigion County Council and Hywel Dda health board.

It will provide extra capacity for health chiefs in response to the unprecedented challenges currently faced by the NHS and social care services as hospital are stretched to the limit.

Further sites across the county are also being investigated.

The health service is also working with its university partners in Aberystwyth on opportunities for them to support the efforts.

The work follows announcements made last week confirming additional medical capacity in Parc Y Scarlets and the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli and Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire.

Dr Phil Kloer, medical director and deputy chief executive at Hywel Dda University health Boad, said: “Delivering this additional capacity in Ceredigion 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 Ceredigion County Council 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.”

Ceredigion council chief executive Eifion Evans said: “Ceredigion County Council is proud to be supporting Hywel Dda University Health Board in establishing our leisure centres and one of our secondary schools as facilities which will provide additional capacity as we prepare for the potential impact of COVID-19.

“This is a reflection of the close partnership working between the two organisations. We thank all staff who have been working tirelessly to prepare for and respond to this crisis.”