Well the 12-week consultation period has ended and today some decisions have been made, which includes that Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen and Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest both being Downgraded.
Hywel Dda University Health Board covers Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and borders and are embarking on an ambitious 20-year journey to transform the way people receive health care and support within these areas.
During April and July this year, one of the largest local NHS consultations in the UK was held to gather everyone’s feedback about options of possibly changes. There was a huge and passionate response from the local population in relation to the Consultation. There were more than 5,400 questionnaires received, 4,000 attendees at events and workshops, hundreds of written submissions, five petitions and extensive social media debate.
At a public board meeting held today Wednesday 26th September, decisions of what changes were to be actioned were made and the result was mostly like what was option B on the consultation documents. The main decisions which were agreed today includes: -
So even though these key decisions have been made, the health board received really insightful feedback from people during the consultation and wants to investigate further, and demonstrate, some developments, including such things as:
Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “Today is a hugely momentous day as we confirm we will take a new direction to providing much more preventative and community-based healthcare to our population. We’ve heard the concern people have with current healthcare provision and our ability to deliver this sea-change in the years to come but our clinicians have led this work and we believe what has been put before us today offers us the best chance to deal with the fragility our NHS faces and to provide the population with safe, effective care that meets their needs.”
Chair Bernardine Rees added: “We are really grateful to everyone who got involved in our consultation as it has given us really rich feedback. Our ambition is to continue that conversation and input so that we can grow services in our seven localities, using schemes we have already delivered, such as the front of house project at Prince Philip Hospital and Tenby walk-in, as the basis of what can be achieved.”
Medical Director and Director of Clinical Strategy Dr Philip Kloer said: “We’re aware that some people, particularly those who live furthest from the new hospital zone between Narberth and St Clears may be anxious about these changes. They will not happen overnight and we are committed to working with those communities and our partners to demonstrate and test what additional provision can be made, particularly for time-sensitive emergency conditions.
“For example we are working with partners to build the case for the Emergency Medical Retrieval Team (doctors who are brought to the scene to treat and then transfer) and CHANTS (the Neonatal Retrieval Team) to be a 24-hour service, and also investigating the potential to place advanced paramedics in communities so they are available solely to that community.
“Another important factor in providing life-saving treatment is getting people quickly to the definitive hospital which will provide their care. At the moment, people in our coastal areas of Pembrokeshire have to travel to Glangwili for some treatment, which in the future, we will be able to offer at a more equitable location, for the south of Hywel Dda, in the new hospital zone.”
The next step will be for clinicians and staff to work with the public and other organisations to bring the additional detail together into a draft Health Strategy to put before public Health Board at the end of November. The position of the New Hospital has not been decided and will be dependent also on a full business case, which will be made to the Welsh Government.