Shake-up of regions's health system could see services moved

Published date: 16 May 2014 |
Published by: Mike Williams
Read more articles by Mike Williams


A MAJOR shake-up of the North Wales health system could see key services moved to different hospitals and dispersed across the community.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCHUB) bosses will be presented with a number of options for the future of health services across the region in July when they will make a final decision on the layout and of services at a meeting at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Options up for consideration will include changes to departments and services aimed at cutting costs and providing a more “cohesive” healthcare network.

Either way, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd will each provide and specialise in different services rather than the more uniform offering currently seen across all the hospitals.

Medical director Matt Makin said: “We are going to keep three hospitals open and three front doors (A&E departments) open.

“What you see behind those front doors won’t necessarily be the same in those hospitals in terms of ongoing care.

“We can’t dodge the finance question.

“We will have to make some difficult decisions but this is all about improving outcomes for patients.”

The proposals - part of continuing “iterative” process of improvements - will cover all aspects of health care, broken into four categories: general medical and surgical; planned care; maternity, paediatric and neonatal care and finally acute mental health.

Health bosses want to see more people treated at home and in residential homes and see specialist services, like particular types of surgery, specialised at one site.

Patients with complex conditions will still need to travel out of the region for specialist care.

He added: “When it comes to some services, we are spread too thinly.

“It would be better to provide specialised services in sites that people may have to drive a little bit further to reach, but the outcome will be better for the patient.

“In terms of things like end of life care, most people say they would
like to spend their last weeks or days somewhere they are more familiar with.

“But often people will get put into busy wards, looked after people they are not familiar  with.

“That’s where we’re looking at spending more money in district nursing schemes and enabling people to receive care in the community.”

A health board spokesman said: “We will continue to provide as much healthcare as possible close to patients’ homes.”

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