1 August 2022
Hywel Dda University Health Board is keen to hear the views of its service users, staff, partners, and exemplar organisations, on how it can improve individuals’ experience of Welsh language and culture at the health board.
Beti George, broadcaster and journalist, and representative of the patient voice on the Welsh Government Partnership Board, launched the discovery process on the health board’s stall at the Eisteddfod today. In doing so, she invited visitors to the Eisteddfod to share what they believe is important in terms of the Welsh language and culture.
Beti explains: “Enabling patients to access services in Welsh is crucial – being able to effectively communicate in your first language – particularly when in pain, or distress, is fundamental to the experience of patients.
“My partner lived with Alzheimer’s for many years and communication was often hard. Our experience clearly demonstrated how health services need to be able to connect with patients and vulnerable individuals in a way that they understand, and in Wales, this is often through the medium of Welsh.
“I’m pleased that Hywel Dda is taking this step to understand the needs of service users – both current and future generations - and look forward to learning how it informs their future plans.”
Huw Thomas, Hywel Dda University Health Board Director of Finance, and an Executive champion for Welsh language, explained: “As a health board we have an ambition to not only meet the statutory requirements of the Welsh Language Standards, but go beyond them and celebrate our language and culture in all aspects of our work.
“We want to gain a deeper understanding of, and to be responsive to, what may be specific needs of our communities here in west Wales. We’re open to innovative ideas and want to hear the experiences of individuals. We look forward to putting developing our Welsh language and culture plan, and putting it to action, over the coming months – ensuring that Hywel Dda continues to grow and lead in this area.”
The Health Board’s Welsh Language and Culture Discovery process, launched at the Eisteddfod, seeks the views of staff, patients, partners, exemplar organisations and the local population on ways to make Hywel Dda a model public sector organisation for embracing and celebrating Welsh language and culture - in the way we communicate, offer our services, and design our estate and facilities for example. Individuals are invited to share their views on the Maes, and in addition to speaking to members of staff on the stall, can write their thoughts and opinions on the graffiti whiteboard, or complete a short survey.
The discovery process will run until the end of October and will involve the health board engaging with partner organisations and community representatives, in addition to inviting individuals to share their views. The resulting findings of our process will be presented in a Discovery Report that will underpin the health board’s new Welsh Language and Culture Plan.
For the latest from the health board’s stand and the Eisteddfod Maes, you can follow Hywel Dda University Health Board on Twitter @HywelDdaHB, Facebook – Hywel Dda Health Board, and Instagram @hywelddauhb or follow the conversation at #HywelOnTheMaes and #IechydDaHywelDda.