Next Monday, I shall be seconding a motion being proposed to a full meeting of Ceredigion County Council by Cllr Elizabeth Evans, in support of our health services here in Ceredigion.
The motion calls for a meeting with the Welsh Assembly's Health Minister and the change management team at the Hywel Dda NHS Trust to answer the great concerns being expressed at present about the future provision of services in mid-Wales' only District General Hospital in Bronglais, Aberystwyth and also to clarify the future plans for Cardigan Hospital, Aberaeron Integrated Health Centre and the Cylch Caron project in Tregaron.
The motion below is self-explanatory and I hope that it will receive the unanimous support of Councillors from across the Chamber to send a clear message to Hywel Dda NHS Trust and to the Welsh Assembly Government that we will not stand idly by in Ceredigion whilst the threat to our health services increase.
Ceredigion County Council notes that Hywel Dda Health Board under the direction of the Welsh Government (WG) Health Minister is undertaking a substantial review of Health Service delivery in its operational area, and as a council we are concerned what this will mean for Ceredigion particularly in light of the Health Minister’s decision to put on hold long awaited capital expenditure on health projects within the county, namely Cardigan, Aberaeron and Tregaron.
Ceredigion County Council further notes that a change management team has been brought in to achieve this substantial change. Ceredigion County Council notes that this substantial review has been directed by WG to provide a service that can operate within the constraints laid down by the Health Minister in her announcement on Tuesday 1st November.
Ceredigion County Council believes that these constraints laid down by the Minister take no account of Ceredigion’s rurality which has to be considered as a significant factor in the matrix of any health care provision. Operationally, the Minister has stated that no District General Hospital (DGH) will be shut. However, there is only Bronglais DGH between the A55 corridor in the North of Wales and the M4/A48 corridor in the South. Therefore, Bronglais is of strategic and primary importance to the delivery of safe health care in a geographical operational area that covers half of Wales and needs to be adequately resourced by Welsh Government
Ceredigion County Council further believes that any down-grading whatsoever of any one of the core services currently provided at Bronglais would render the population at severe risk. Services at Bronglais DGH must include: abdominal/colo-rectal surgery, accident and emergency, cardiology, elderly medicine, gynaecology and obstetrics, maternity, oncology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, respiratory, stroke facilities, and mental health services together with all on-site supporting services. These core services and their supporting elements are essential to the delivery of a sustainable and safe healthcare provision in the area otherwise the loss of anyone of these individual services will render this facility no longer able to serve the population as a fully functional DGH which can provide a safe, timely and accessible health care service appropriately to the population; again it must be stressed that this must be adequately resourced by Welsh Government.
To write and to call for urgent meetings with both the Minister and the Change Management Team at Hywel Dda with all Councillors in order to:
Strongly argue that Bronglais DGH should keep all the services listed in the above paragraph and to nurture the continued development in all areas where expertise already exists. Consequently, Bronglais DGH must be considered separately as a special case given its geographical position within Wales and the continued ground-breaking developmental research, which has already been professionally recognised.
Clarify in its entirety the capital expenditure position and the operational intentions for Cardigan Hospital, Aberaeron Integrated Health Centre and the Cylch Caron, Tregaron projects.
Proposed by: Cllr Elizabeth Evans
Seconded by: Cllr Mark Cole