HYWEL Dda University Health Board will continue to work with politicians of all political parties on its critical piece of work to ensure local NHS services are fit for our population now and in the future, it announced today.

The Health Board is currently in the options development stage of the Transforming Clinical Services programme. This involves thinking through potential options on how best to organise local healthcare services to match today’s challenges and the ones we know are coming. By the spring, we will bring potential options which we think are safe, viable and offer an improvement on what we currently have, for public consultation.

Involvement from patients, staff, the public and political leaders, is essential for us to develop the best possible strategy for our whole population. In this context, the Health Board wishes to make it clear that we hugely value our engagement with local AMs and MPs of every political party as our constituents’ representatives, and have always prided ourselves on having open and constructive discussions. Whilst it can sometimes prove challenging to meet as often as we would like, this is a reflection of the scale of the agenda we are all facing and not a lack of willingness, on either side, to maintain good communication.

A specific instance of these challenges was highlighted yesterday in relation to our engagement activities with the Assembly Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Adam Price. The Health Board has always worked positively with Adam and has maintained regular engagement with him over a number of years. This is similarly true of our relationship with other politicians in our area.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “It has been a hallmark of this organisation during the last few years that we are open about the challenges we are facing and want to engage as widely as possible on potential solutions. I have always been keen to keep local AMs and MPs engaged and have found nothing but willingness on their part to do so. Adam Price and the wider Plaid Cymru group, as well as other public representatives in our area, have been active participants in discussions about our services and I would not wish the impression to be otherwise. I would also wish to apologise to Adam that there was an inaccuracy in our briefing to Welsh Government, specifically a request we received from him in January 2018 to meet for a general update and to discuss a constituency issue, which we missed.  This meeting will provide an obvious opportunity to discuss the development of our Transforming Clinical Services Strategy, and a provisional date for a meeting had already been placed in our diaries.  I am looking forward to meeting Adam soon. We also did not include a further update letter from me and the Health Board Chair sent in December 2017, updating all local AMs and MPs on our progress to date and inviting their input.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board is seeking to establish a reference group with representatives from across political parties and county elected members, to regularly update on transformation work.

In addition, any member of the public who wishes to be kept directly informed about the programme is encouraged to join our membership scheme Siarad Iechyd/Talking Health at www.talkinghealth.wales.nhs telephone 01554 899 056, or follow our pages on Facebook and Twitter, where we post regular updates.

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