Hywel Dda University Health Board and the communities in the Amman Valley and Gwendraeth are continuing to explore how Amman Valley Hospital should be developed alongside other health and well-being services in the community.
Engagement events between the communities, the health board and Carmarthenshire Council will be held in January (2020), following previous events in Autumn 2019.
It’s part of the health board’s commitment in its health and care strategy to work with communities to transform health and care for the benefit of current and future generations.
The events are being used to gather information on the strengths of the community in relation to health, care and well-being, and to explore if they can be expanded or further supported; as well as considering any gaps or concerns.
Council, health board and primary care and community staff supporting the events have been able to provide information about ongoing community developments in the areas. For example, social prescribing is being used by healthcare professionals to support people with different aspects of their life that affect health and well-being.
A clear message, which has been heard is the need for beds in Amman Valley Hospital to support local people. Beds are currently used as step down from needing care in a main hospital or when people need more health and care treatment than can be provided at home but do not need to be in a main hospital.
Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Interim County Director for Carmarthenshire Rhian Dawson explained: “We are so grateful to local people who continue to give us their time to provide us with an insight into the strengths of the community itself, direct experiences of health and care, and ideas on what is needed now and in the future to help keep people well and happy.”
“We agree there is a need for beds in Amman Valley Hospital and we want to work with staff and the community to look at how we best use beds to meet the right level of need. We also know that people are staying in the hospital for too long without a clear plan to get them home or to longer term settings. This is something we want to improve. We want to look at how we can make best use of the site to perhaps provide additional services to the local community such as outpatient appointments, clinics or tests and we are continuing to explore this with the community so we can bring some suggestions back to them.”
Other themes raised by several people include the desire for a minor injuries unit and diagnostic services at Amman Valley Hospital; a need to refurbish the hospital; and to make better use of technology for care. People have also been sharing their experiences of having difficulties with transport and isolation.
Another strong theme in discussions has been acknowledgement of the contribution the League of Friends has made to Amman Valley Hospital. Mrs Dawson said: “We are incredibly grateful to the League of Friends who remain key people for us to work with, providing an enormously valuable contribution not just in terms of money, but in support and experience. We are really keen to continue to talk with all interested people about what their views are, as well as to consider new ideas, challenges and consider alternatives and different scenarios, where relevant.”
Further ‘drop-in’ events to map out community services, groups, strengths or ‘assets’ will be held as follows and all are welcome: