Nearly two years after the opening of a flagship NHS care centre in Ceredigion, patients and staff are heralding the fantastic benefits of the centre, which are partly thanks to a generous local legacy.

The Aberaeron Integrated Care Centre has brought joined-up health and social care to local communities for the first time.

It provides everything from clinical services and GP surgeries to a home for district nursing and social care teams, third sector organisations and the Porth Gofal multi-disciplinary team.

The project was funded with the support of over £3m of capital funding from the Welsh Government.

But fundamental to the development and key to the refurbishment was a legacy of more than £400,000 from local benefactor Miss Bessie Anne Jenkins.

Jina Hawkes, Community and Primary Care General Manager for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said that the support of charitable donations and legacies can make a considerable and positive difference to local health services.

Jina said: “A local legacy has been fundamental to the Aberaeron Integrated Care Centre development and it has enabled us to keep services local, which is the vision of the health board. The legacy enabled us to offer the best possible care ‘closer to home’.

“We are so extremely grateful when we receive legacies, as they enable us to provide facilities over and above what is usually possible through the NHS. For patients and families, legacies are often a way to say thank you for the care they have received.

“We have had very positive feedback from users of the centre and from the staff. It is a platform to deliver integrated care all under one roof.”

Jan Walker, the health board’s Clinical Site Manager for Aberaeron and Cardigan Integrated care Centres, said the legacy has made such a difference to what they have been able to do at the Aberaeron centre.

“Patients are constantly saying ‘wow’ when they visit the centre. The legacy has enabled us to have 21st century facilities, including lots of technology and equipment we didn’t have before.

“We also have some lovely artwork featuring Aberaeron, including pictures featuring the harbour and the town’s carnival.”

The legacy provided a main waiting area at the new care centre, including a child-friendly area and parking for wheelchairs.

In addition, it funded a physiotherapy room to support the development of a number of group therapy clinics, a baby room for feeding and an interview room for confidential discussions with patients.

Also provided was new clinical equipment and furniture, including patient examination couches, ophthalmoscopes, bariatric equipment and dementia-friendly clocks.

An audiology room and specialist booth also provide dedicated paediatric and adult audiology facilities in Aberaeron.

The legacy also made possible a bariatric space with treatment room and en-suite facilities.

Video conferencing equipment provided is supporting outreach clinics, links to off-site clinicians and group meetings.

Televisions were supplied for waiting areas to provide patient and health promotion information.

There was also artwork in keeping with local surroundings to improve the patient environment.

Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, Nicola Llewelyn, said the charity was so grateful for charitable donations and legacies to help the local NHS.

“The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more information about Hywel Dda Health Charities and how you can help make a difference, go to