Local councillors have agreed for the need to carry on the fight for the retention of health services in Tenby, as the the Hywel Dda consultation continues.
Correspondence from Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards and AM Adam Price came before members of Tenby town council at their meeting on Tuesday night, outlining the party’s response to the Hywel Dda University Health Board’s ‘Our Big NHS Change’ consultations on options to transform clinical services within West Wales.
“We believe that investing in community health and care services, via sufficient new and additional resources, prior to any consideration of hospital reorganisation would be the best possible incentive for the Health Board to deliver seamless, cross boundary and better community services, manage the demand being faced by A and E departments and ultimately make the position sustainable by making better use of resources,” read the statement.
“It is our view that the arrangements that are currently in place to facilitate seamless working between health and social care are simply not delivering within reasonable timescales.
“The pace of change is painfully slow. We believe that a new delivery framework for integrated working within health and care must be established as a matter of urgency with clear arrangements for joint strategic and operational responsibility for the delivery and overall management of an integrated social model for health and care within all localities throughout the Hywel Dda area,” concluded the Plaid Cymru response.
The Mayor of Tenby, Clr. Mrs. Sue Lane said that putting politics to one side, this was a response that the town council should support.
“We need to start fighting for the future of heath services in Tenby. It’s a shame that a lot of what is mentioned in the details of this Plaid statement, is what we used to have at the Old Cottage Hospital in Tenby,” she added, with her colleague Clr. Mike Evans agreeing that he wanted to see the retention of services in the area to be continued to be fought for and also the growth of health facilities for Tenby.
“We need community health hubs to be fully functioning - with the GP surgery, social care and MIU, brought into a campus approach - and the emphasis on getting that structure in place now needs to start before the new hospital is built,” remarked Clr. Laurence Blackhall.
Meanwhile with the health board, taking over the running of the Tenby GP practice from August 1, county councillor Michael Williams, who represents Tenby’s north ward, has once again written to Hywel Dda’s executive medical director and director of clinical strategy, Dr. Phil Kloer with his concerns that primary care appears to have almost ‘collapsed’ in the area, with GP appointments proving extremely difficult to get for patients in Tenby.
Clr. Williams is still awaiting for a response on specific questions put forward to Dr. Kloer - asking will the Health Board continue the daily running as per the General Medical Services contract regarding opening hours; and will they continue the walk-in service based at Tenby Cottage Hospital, and if so, will there be an increase in the hours of operation to include weekends and Bank Holidays. He has also asked on the future of the NHS beds currently based in Park House.