THE five South Wales health boards will today publish responses to the 12-week engagement process about ideas for the future of some specialist hospital services.
The responses include written replies to each of the health boards involved in the South Wales Programme – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf and Powys – and feedback from the public and NHS staff events held between September and December 2012.
The results of an independent questionnaire, run by Opinion Research Services (ORS), as part of the South Wales Programme engagement, will also be published today, as will copies of public board papers, which detail the engagement methods and processes adopted by each health board.
All the information will be published on the websites of each of the health boards.
The South Wales Programme was set up by the five health boards to consider ideas for the future of four specialist hospital services –inpatient paediatric care, neonatal and obstetric services and consultant-led A&E.
More than 300 clinicians from across South Wales have been involved in developing the ideas for these services. They believe these services need to be centralised on fewer hospital sites.
At the heart of this work has been how NHS organisations can work together to improve the care given to badly injured or very unwell patients to ensure they survive their injury or illness and recover to live independent and fulfilled lives.
The care patients receive has improved but the way these specialist services are currently provided, combined with changes to the way doctors are trained and the ongoing UK-wide medical recruitment difficulties, means that this care could be better.
Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of Aneurin Bevan Health Board and the lead chief executive for the South Wales Programme, said: “We have been impressed with the response from the public and NHS staff during the 12-week engagement period.
“The engagement events have been met with a mature level of debate from a public interested in the future of these specialist hospital services.
“These responses will now be fed into the detailed work which is underway to further develop the South Wales Programme in preparation for a public consultation in the spring.
“Over the next few weeks our clinicians will review the feedback in clinical conferences and events to recommend a way forward for the South Wales Programme and the health boards.
“We will continue to work closely with the community health councils as we prepare for consultation.”
The feedback reveals a number of common themes were raised during the 12-week engagement period. These include:
• Transport – public transport infrastructure and ambulance service response
• Access to services, including what services will be available at which hospital
• Workforce issues
• The importance of primary and community-based care
• Is the new model for specialist services sustainable in the long-term?
More than 1,200 ORS questionnaires were returned during the 12-week engagement period. The results show a majority - 57% - of respondents either strongly agreed or tended to agree with the ideas for the future pattern of the specialist hospital services put forward by the South Wales Programme; 16% said they tended to disagree and 18% said they strongly disagreed.
Dr Goodall added: “The feedback from the public, NHS staff, politicians and expert bodies like the Royal Colleges, is very important to us and we would like to thank everyone who attended engagement events or wrote us a letter or email for their involvement.
“We will continue to work closely with our clinicians to develop the South Wales Programme and a model of care which ensures all patients have access to the best possible care and enjoy the best clinical outcomes.”
Notes to Editors
The engagement responses, including the results of an independent questionnaire run by Opinion Research Services, and the board papers will be published on each of the five health boards’ websites on Monday January 28 at 12 noon.
A total of 1,222 ORS questionnaires were returned during the 12-week South Wales Programme engagement, 319 were returned by post and 903 were completed online.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale and Cwm Taf health boards all held public board meetings in January 2013, when papers about the South Wales Programme engagement were discussed. Powys Teaching Health Board’s next board meeting will be held in February 2013.
The website addresses are:
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB www.changingforthebetter.org.uk
Aneurin Bevan Health Board www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/866/page/63207
Cardiff and Vale UHB www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/swp
Cwm Taf Health Board www.cwmtafhb.wales.nhs.uk/southwales
Powys Teaching Health Board www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/867/page/63228