The fourth option for West Wales? Do we want “soft lies and gentle indifference”, until we realise the safety net is failing for us personally?

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:

The rows, petitions and the spectre of failure surrounding how to build a new NHS for west Wales

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

Owain Clarke for BBC News 19th April: New hospital and Withybush changes in Hywel Dda shake-up plan

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

NHS should look at ‘home-grown’ talent amid staff crisis levels and …

Western Mail letters: Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Three West Wales hospitals ‘could be closed’ as health board drafts …

Chiefs ‘desperate for health board to get this right’ over West Wales …

Pembrokeshire GP Roger Burns urges ‘fourth option’ (Western Telegraph)

‘No plans to close Withybush A&E before new hospital built’

ITV News: Hospital shake-up plans for west Wales

The Mail 2014: After the Mail’s devastating expose of the Welsh NHS we asked our …




This entry was posted in A Personal View on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s