Hywel Dda Health Board
In December 2011 the Hywel Dda Health Board launched its pre-consultation engagement exercise, Your Health, Your Future, which closed on 30 April 2012. The listening and engagement exercise provided a number of potential options for reform and invited opinions and feedback on the proposals. The formal consultation, Your Health Your Future - Consulting our Communities, was launched in August 2012 and closed on 29 October 2012. The Health Board published their final proposals in January 2013. Following the formal consultation there has been correspondence between the Health Board and the Hywel Dda Community Health Council (CHC) where the CHC has raised some concerns with regard to the proposals. Although some issues have been resolved some matters of concern to the CHC remain (Neonatal Services – specifically in relation to Glangwili and Withybush Hospitals; and A&E services at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli). The Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford AM, has established a Scrutiny Panel to examine all relevant documentation and consider the issues. The Panel will provide advice and recommendations on the services in question and from this the Minister will form his determination.
Further information can be found on the Health Board’s website.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Over the last few years the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been undertaking a number of reviews of specific services. Potential scenarios for change were developed by clinicians and presented to the Health Board in July 2012. The Health Board decided, with CHC agreement, to bring forward proposals for significant changes in four areas (Localities and Community services; Neonatal Intensive Care Services; Older People with Mental Health Needs; and Vascular Services) which would require a formal public consultation. The formal consultation, Healthcare in North Wales is Changing, was launched in August 2012 and closed on 28 October 2012. In January 2013 the Health Board published its final proposals for changes to healthcare services in North Wales. In March 2013 the Betsi Cadwaladr CHC referred elements of the Health Board’s proposals to the former Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths AM, for determination. Following separate meetings between Welsh Government officials and members of the CHC and Health Board, both parties believed there to be a way forward to resolve these matters. The new Minister, Mark Drakeford AM, has subsequently received a joint letter from the CHC and the Health Board which confirms agreement has been reached on the outstanding issues. The CHC is now content, subject to the outcome of the agreed monitoring and review processes it has highlighted being satisfactory, that it has reached a local resolution to the elements of the Health Board’s proposals which it had previously referred to the Minister for determination. Further information can be found on the Health Board’s website.
South Wales Programme
The South Wales Programme was set up in January 2012. The South Wales Programme Board has been working alongside clinicians to examine how some specialist hospital services should be delivered in the future. The Programme has focused on four hospital services - consultant-led maternity services, neonatal care, inpatient paediatrics and emergency medicine (A&E). The five health boards (Aneurin Bevan Health Board; Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board; Cardiff and Vale University Health Board; Cwm Taf Health Board; and Powys teaching Health Board), which serve people living in South Wales and South Powys, have been working with the Welsh Ambulance Service to improve the quality of care in these specialties and to address the workforce challenges they face. In September 2012 the South Wales Programme launched their public engagement document, Matching the best in the world - Challenges facing hospital services in South Wales, which closed on 19 December 2012. The full South Wales Programme consultation document, which outlines the options for the future of the four hospital services, was launched in May 2013 and closed on 19 July 2013. Health Boards will make their final decisions at their respective Board meetings in October 2013. Further information can be found on the Health Board’s website.
Article by Victoria Paris, National Assembly for Wales Research Service.