NHSreality has argued that we need to discuss “hard truths” and that the secret of providing health care is in “tough love”, where patients are encouraged to be self sufficient as much as possible. But removing the A&E from a region as large as Pembrokeshire is too tough, and a step too far. I have responded in writing today to the consultation process started by Hywel Dda Board, but with a 4th option which is outside their gift.
The fourth option can be downloaded here. The full text is below.
To: Steve Moore, CEO Hywel Dda University Health Trust Board (HDUTD), Corporate Offices, Ystwyth Building, Hafan Derwen, St Davids Park, Jobswell Road, Carmarthen, SA31 3BB and Vaughan Gething, Welsh Government, Cardiff
Dear Mr Moore and Mr Gething,
The three suggestions currently put forward by the Hywel Dda board exclude an important 4th option. This is for Hywel Dda to combine with Abertowe Bro Morgannwg as one University Trust Board, and a new Hospital to be built in Pembrokeshire. This option is only within the gift of the WG in Cardiff.
The resulting population would be larger and give improved choice to patients.
At a time of severe under capacity, the junior doctor recruitment issue could be addressed by rotating posts within the new trust. Larger teams of consultants would take their turn in peripheral clinics and operating suites.
The new build should be in Pembrokeshire and has to include treatments which address the large numbers of elderly people in the future. Radiotherapy, cardiovascular services (including stent), and all the other acute services and technologies that encourage doctors to apply for jobs.
Carmarthen and Llanelli already have speedy access to Swansea. Roads westward will need to be improved and Carmarthenshire may then be tempted to use the new facility.
The threat to Pembrokeshire from removing the DGH is bigger than it is for anywhere else in the area, apart from Aberystwyth, which has a guaranteed facility. There could be a large emigration of people, and a real possibility of civil unrest.
Dr Roger W Burns
Copy CC (by e-mail):
Ian Lewis for Walesnline 30th April in Carmarthen:
It’s not going to be plain sailing as a massive consultation on the future of west Wales healthcare gets underway
Paul Davies WAM in WG
Chris James Chair BMA Pembrokeshire and Withybush MEC
Western Telegraph, Western Mail, Milford Mercury
Christine Evans, Chairman, St Thomas’ Surgery PPG
Hywel Dda CHC
Laurence Williams LMC
Pembrokeshire & Carmarthenshire Radio
Swansea should combine with Hywel Dda, This option is not in the Trusts gift, but is political. And the opportunity afforded by restructuring may be lost if choice and specialist access is not improved…
Update 4th May
Pembrokeshire GP Roger Burns urges ‘fourth option’ (Western Telegraph)
ITV News: Hospital shake-up plans for west Wales