The Future of Solva Surgery Working Group finds that, after a year of sparse Health Board communication, the future of GP services is unknown, despite the board’s own December deadline.

Led by Solva Community Council and with membership drawn from the local community, the Future of Solva Surgery Working Group aims to preserve the GP service in Solva, strengthen primary care and integrate and co-ordinate with preventative activities.

A year on from the resignation of Solva Surgery’s GP Partner, and against a backdrop of similar news from across Wales, the group met on December 11. The meeting was to review what actual progress has been made to ensure the future of Solva Surgery and to create a wellbeing hub on the St Davids Peninsula in Pembrokeshire.

It was agreed that immediate imperatives - including a smooth transition to a managed Practice and a fully functioning service for the community - had been quickly sorted. It was noted though that the much-valued local Dispensary has been lost.

As for securing future GP services for the community, however, progress has been slow.

Despite an invitation from Hywel Dda University Health Board (HDUHB) to join the ‘Peninsula Stakeholder Group’ which would focus on maintaining GP services on the St Davids Peninsula, major concerns raised by the community at the beginning of the process remain unaddressed.

Moreover, the Future of Solva Surgery Working Group still awaits formal feedback to a paper on the future delivery of primary care services in Solva which the group submitted to the first meeting in April.

Chair of Solva Community Council, Richard Davies said:

“We still don’t know what the situation is with the surgery premises which are currently being leased by HDUHB, and importantly, what the future holds with respect to GP services on the Peninsula given that the future of the two practices Solva and St Davids will most certainly have to be inextricably linked.”

Chair of the Future of Solva Surgery Working Group, Sue Denman said:

“We had high hopes that HDUHB managers would follow their policy of working collaboratively with local communities to find solutions that will meet the long-term needs of the population on the Peninsula.

“The Health Board’s actual deadline for creating a report on a workable plan is this month - a deadline which is certain not to be met for reasons that are a mystery to us.

“Only one meeting of the ‘Peninsula Stakeholder Group’ has taken place, communication has been sparse, and offers of support from the community to help progress the plan have not been taken up. It makes strong sense to plan, and to plan together, to avoid another cycle of crisis management.”

Following the cancellation of several agreed dates over the summer and early autumn, the second meeting of the Peninsula Stakeholder Group is due to take place on January 16, 2024. The Future of Solva Surgery Working Group will be working to secure answers to community concerns ahead of this meeting where it will push hard for a timeline and plans.

Save solva surgery
The ‘Save Solva Surgery’ meeting held at the Memorial Hall on January 24 saw a large community turnout. (Pic supplied)