Decisions made this week, to approve or otherwise, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s first clinical strategy will shape the way our entire population keeps well and receives health and care for the next 20 years.
Board members will consider and debate the strategy – A Healthier Mid and West Wales – in a meeting to be held and broadcast live from Carmarthenshire Council Chamber on Thursday at 9.30am.
The document sets out the vision for our population’s health, with aims to achieve it. That is for a mid and west Wales where ‘individuals, communities and the environments they live, play and work in are adaptive, connected and mutually supportive’, which means people are ‘resilient and resourceful and enabled to live joyful, healthy and purposeful lives with a strong sense of belonging’.
If approved, the strategy will provide the prioritisation and common goals needed to develop specific action plans for health and care service provision in the future, including a much greater focus than ever before on prevention, early intervention and community care.
These are ambitions shared by the local authorities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire who want to step-up the integration of health and social care across community services so we impact the wider determinants of people’s health.
There is also a commitment to continue to work with and engage staff, patients, people in our communities and those delivering, or interested in, health, care and well-being. We know many people are keen to see change but some people are also worried about how future plans my affect them. This is all governed by the principles of making sure all decisions and actions are safe, sustainable, accessible and kind, with our staff and communities helping us test that those principles are in place.
Some early examples of how the board will work towards its vision are included in the document, as well as some broad timelines.
- To demonstrate what community based care could look like to local people, early implementers of health and well-being centres will be established in Cardigan, Llandysul, Lampeter, Llanelli and Pembroke Dock. This won’t prohibit work to enhance community care in other areas, or schemes already underway for example Cylch Caron in Tregaron, and Cross Hands
- Care navigators in the community will help people understand and use community based services, which will be built around seven integrated localities so they can be responsive to the specific needs of their populations (North and South Ceredigion, North and South Pembrokeshire, Amman and Gwendraeth, Taf, Tywi and Teifi) Community and hospital based services will be assessed and consideration made of the full seven-days of the week, so we can expand services with the most positive impact for patients
- Consultation recommendations in September made no decision on whether to close beds at Amman Valley and South Pembrokeshire hospitals so the health board will now work with these communities, and others, to explore different types of beds – whether in existing community hospitals, at home or another setting
- Work to build a new hospital in the south of the Hywel Dda area for urgent and planned care will begin now. This will include scoping and feasibility studies for sites between Narberth and St Clears. The new hospital is critical to the health board’s plans for re-organised local hospitals, and if not achieved for any reason, plans would need to be re-considered and the board would go back out to engage with the public. It is anticipated a new hospital would be operational by 2027.
- The types of service expected to be included in each of the health board’ current hospitals (Bronglais, Glangwili, Prince Philip, Withybush) are outlined in the document on pages 35 to 37 (https://bit.ly/2BxMNs9)
Medical Director Dr Philip Kloer said: “This is the first clinical strategy our clinicians have brought before Hywel Dda University Health Board, and if approved it is a landmark position which gives us a common goal and foundation on which to develop our services for our population. We have broadly defined the services that people can expect to see in our network of hospitals and community services, although we now start the work of co-designing all the different pathways of care for people with different health conditions.”
Director of Public Health Ros Jervis added: “I’m delighted we have been able to bring together our clinical vision for providing health and care services with a clear mandate and commitment to how we build on the strengths and resources we already have in place in our communities to live healthier and joyful lives. This strategy is not solely about hospitals and what we do when people are unwell but how we consider the whole system, to use our community strengths to protect and promote health and well-being and prevent illness, even when people are faced with challenging life circumstances”.
If the strategy is approved by the board, it will be launched with the public in the New Year, including publication of a summary version and alternative versions to reach specific audiences. This will be supported by ongoing information and opportunities to engage and talk with the health board through locality based events and relationships.
In the meantime, if you are interested in shaping the future health and well-being of the population or the design of services, you can join the involvement scheme Siarad Iechyd Talking Health at www.talkinghealth.wales.nhs.uk or phone: 01554 899 056
If you want to watch the health board meeting live, follow on the attached link: https://carmarthenshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/home