The hospice is based in a building opposite the hospital's Emergency Unit and has been completely renovated and extended by Hywel Dda University Health Board's in-house design team thanks to £265,000 raised by the Tŷ Cymorth Hospice Appeal.
At the official opening, Professor Drakeford, said: "Carmarthenshire people have always been so generous and so committed to their community. This project has only been possible thanks to their generosity, the hard work of the Trustees and the fundraising committee and the partnership and support of the health board."
"Three things have struck me as I have walked around the hospice today. First is the fantastic standard of the building and equipment, which is so important as it demonstrates that this is a special building for the support and care of special people. Second is the wonderful and peaceful atmosphere that has been created through the environment, such as the windows in the roof of the new extension and the courtyard and garden space. Thirdly, and most importantly, whilst buildings are important, people are even more important and the people I have met here today - the staff and volunteers - are so committed to this service and the people they care for. It is plain to see that this hospice has already, and will continue to touch so many lives"
The new hospice is staffed by highly-trained palliative care staff who provide nursing therapy, counselling, symptom and medication management, as well as information for patients and their families.
Chairman of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Chris Martin said: "We are delighted to have been able to work with all the Trustees and fundraising committee through our County Director Linda Williams and her team, all of whom have worked tirelessly to bring the hospice within the main hospital site. This service provides a lifeline for people at a very difficult time of their lives and is much valued by the health board and community alike. It will have an important role to play as more patients wish to be cared for at home and day centres such as this."
Speaking on behalf of the Trustees, David Harris said they were delighted to have achieved the original vision of the appeal, set up by Hazel Powell in 1992, which was to have a specialist palliative care service at the hospital. He said: "Tŷ Cymorth provides help, assistance and friendship for people and their families, enabling them to share and lighten their burden. We must now look forward to ensure that this continues and that the centre is used to its fullest."