Hospital’s future agreed but MP wary of uncertainty
confirmation that acute medical care will continue in Llanelli, the town’s AM says there is still a deal of uncertainty over the region’s healthcare.
Hywel Dda University Health Board’s strategy – dubbed ‘A Healthier Mid and West Wales’ was approved last week.
The overhaul would see services maintained at Prince Philip Hospital while Glangwili in Carmarthen and Withybush in Pembrokeshire would both lose services and be ‘repurposed’ as part of the shake-up.
The board’s decision followed a consultation on three options for the future provision of healthcare in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion.
Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said she was happy Llanelli’s hospital would maintain its status.
She said: “I am pleased that we have had confirmation from Hywel Dda Health Board that acute medical care and the minor injuries unit will be staying at Prince Philip Hospital, which will continue to be a general hospital. However, with the health board pressing ahead with a new super hospital in Whitland and planned downgrades at Glangwili and Withybush hospitals, there is still much uncertainty about the future of planned and specialist care. Lee Waters AM and I will keep a close eye on any developments and continue to hold the Health Board to account on their promises.”
In response to the publication of the board’s 52-page document on the future of clinical care for the next 20 years, Plaid councillors in Carmarthenshire have argued a fully-integrating primary health and social care under one line of management, in order to slash highly-expensive duplication at managerial level, must be a priority.
They claim that would negate the need for a new hospital and help ensure Glangwili’s future as an acute care hospital.
“Although the health board talks of working closer with the local councils, who provide social care of course, they have a poor track record of doing so to date,” said councillor Gareth John.
“There is unnecessary and highly-expensive managerial duplication. Front-line staff are not having the integrated support they should get and as a result the elderly, the vulnerable and those in need in our communities are being short changed.
“Hywel Dda Health Board is in a chronic state.
“Its digital systems are years out of date and many facilities are poor.
“It has a huge problem filling its staffing rotas, which puts extra pressure on already fully-stretched front-line staff in hospital wards and clinics.”
Dr Phil Kloer, medical director of clinical strategy for Hywel Dda, said: “We are fully committed to the integration of health and social care to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities, as set out in our strategy which was approved by our Board on Thursday.
“Indeed we are already working very closely with local authorities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire to transform and integrate care as part of the West Wales Regional Partnership Board.
“There are many different ways to deliver integrated service provision, and as a region we are committed to delivering preventative services and early intervention in the most effective way possible for each population.
“However the challenges we have in providing hospital-based care cannot be solved by integration alone.”
Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital.