latest health care news

06.12.17

Plans unveiled for 19 health hubs across Wales costing £68m

Plans for 19 health and care hubs across Wales have been revealed by health secretary Vaughan Gething.

A total of £68m has been put aside for the projects, which will improve access to healthcare services closer to people’s homes.

The plan represents the biggest targeted investment in primary and community care infrastructure by the Welsh government.

It is still in the initial stages and centres will be dependent on the agreement of successful business cases from local health boards.

Gething said the Welsh government was catering to people’s expectations for treatment in “modern, advanced health care centres that deliver a wide range of services all under one roof.”

He continued: “By targeting investment in this way it is hoped that opportunities for delivering service change can be delivered upon.

“We’re funding the future of healthcare in Wales and the pipeline of projects I’m announcing today will make a significant difference to the care people receive closer to home in their communities.”

Health boards in Wales will look to work with local authorities, housing associations and the third sector, to bring public services into community hubs.

The news has been met with a mixed response from the health sector, with Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the BMA's General Practitioners Committee questioning whether the government allowed local practitioners enough say in the plans.

“Whilst we welcome improving access to services closer to people’s homes, it’s difficult to assess the impact this will have without knowing the intricacies of how it will work,” she explained.

“It’s concerning to us that the initial reaction from LMC members suggests that they haven’t been involved in the design of the scheme. It’s vital that local clinicians, who understand the needs of the local community, are involved in service design to ensure that patients receive the services they deserve.

“As part of the work to improve access to local services, investment is desperately needed to ensure the GP estate is fit for purpose. Robust premises strategies must be developed, with the full involvement of LMCs.”

Jones also said she would welcome more details on the allocation of funding for these centres and information on the process used to decide on the distribution of projects.

The scheme will look at creating centres with seven health boards across Wales:

  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Cwm Taf University Health Board
  • Hywel Dda University Heath Board
  • Powys Teaching Health Board

The plans are a key commitment in the Taking Wales Forward programme, with part of the focus on improving access for anyone needing health and care services.

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