Pembrokeshire and the Welsh health services are degenerating rapidly. In the Pembrokeshire Herald on September 1st 2017 Jon Coles writes “Minister’s answer raises more Withybush questions. But it is the staffing crisis across the nation (see Times letters; page down) which is the issue, due to political denial and short termism. This is a template for the debates going on all around the country.
The article rightly points out the problems of recruitment and retention, but gives the impression that this problem could be solved locally. It is of course a National problem, of rationing of medical student capacity over decades, and of a gender bias towards female doctors, who work fewer life hours. The gender bias is a result of undergraduate recruitment, and could be addresses by graduate recruitment. The problem of few applicants from rural schools and deprived areas needs to be addressed by adverse selection. State supported places at Medical School are a majority in the UK, but this is not the case abroad. So more and more determined applicants who are rejected may choose to train in Prague or in Malta. This is a National Problem and the “rules of the game” mean Hywel Dda is going to fail. To attract medical staff for the next decade areas such as Pembrokeshire need to combine resources with surrounding areas, and have high tech cold surgical units in their centre.
The “middle” ground is around Whitland or St Clears. Funny than was mentioned some time ago…
As if the Trust are going to take any notice. Utilitarian decisions taken for the people of West Wales mean that each District General Hospital will lose a little, but the overall result could be better eventually, provided there is adequate funding and the longer term rationing of medical student and nursing places is corrected. Do attend the last meeting in Pembroke Dock on Friday 15th September, and then reflect in a decades’ time… Kate implies that the Trust are reconsidering the plans of 10 years ago!
IT may feel like deja vu but the idea of a new hospital between Haverfordwest and Carmarthen has been raised again, over ten years since it was suggested by the then health board.
As Hywel Dda Health Board prepares to make more changes to services in the area – stating that changes need to be made – residents are being urged to have their say.
The current consultation on ‘transforming services’ and mental health provision are drawing to a close and Hywel Dda state there have been a number of surprising suggestions made by those who have already taken part.
A plan first mooted by the then Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust in March 2006, to much objection from the community.
“Over the summer, clinicians and other health professionals have met with staff, partner and third sector organisations and the public to discuss why Hywel Dda UHB can’t continue to run NHS services as they are and hear what changes should be made.
“Now is the time for people to speak up and share their ideas and experiences to help make the NHS in mid and west Wales the best it can be. The deadline to have your voice heard is Friday 15 September,” said a health board spokesman.
The last Pembrokeshire ‘engagement session’ is on Wednesday, September 6 at the Pater Hall, Pembroke Dock, 2pm to 7pm. It also coincides with a Transforming Mental Health Services consultation.
Dr Philip Kloer, Medical Director and Director of Clinical Strategy said: “We have a once in a generation opportunity to step back and look at how all our services are provided, hear the views of those who use and work in NHS services and make the changes needed to keep the NHS safe for future generations.
“In the field of medicine we should be investing in new ways of working, modern buildings and giving our staff the time to change the way they work for the benefit of their patients. It is time to move forward and no longer stand still.
“So I’d like to formally invite any Pembrokeshire residents who haven’t yet shared their thoughts to come to Pater Hall and make their voices heard. Now is the time for people to speak up and share their ideas and experiences to help make the NHS in mid and west Wales the best it can be.”
NHS ‘FACES STAFFING CRISIS POST-BREXIT’
Sir, Most people realise that there is a looming crisis in the NHS because of the growing shortage of capable and qualified people available to work in it at all levels. It is perhaps less well understood that this manpower shortage will be greatly exacerbated by the impact of Brexit. If solid reassurances are not forthcoming in the near future, there is a real risk that the quality of the service people expect from the NHS will deteriorate. We are already seeing staff who are EU citizens leaving the NHS or seriously considering their options for the future. This should concern us all.
While I acknowledge the complexities of negotiating with EU officials representing the interests of 27 other member states, and the need to seek guarantees for UK citizens in living and working in Europe, surely the prime minister and her ministerial team could do more now to assuage the fears of our EU colleagues.
If nothing is done now, then we face the very real threat of highly qualified and valued members of staff leaving in ever greater numbers in a relatively short period of time. Nobody should underestimate the dire consequences if and when this scenario becomes a reality over the coming months.
Chairman, Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust, and former director-general, Institute of Directors