Responding to the announcement of proposed structural changes by the Hywel Dda University Health Board, Jeff Baker UNISON Cymru Wales regional organiser said,
“Healthcare workers are frustrated by the current system. There’s a logjam discharging patients and bed-blocking as a result. Health and social care must be integrated.
“However, the proposals are very ambitious and this the first time a health board is trying to reform emergency services at the same time as plan care and community service. If this fails, the new hospital will end up with same pressures as current hospitals and the system will break down and in fact could be worse because of reduced services elsewhere.
“We need assurances from the board, local government and Welsh government that these challenges can be met. Welsh government must provide additional funding for constructing a hospital, recruiting more community staff and doctors, retraining and the transition of services.
“Suggestions the health board wants to use the third sector in care cause real concern. This would fragment rather than integrate the service – the opposite of what is required.
“UNISON is yet to receive the full detail of the proposed changes. Healthcare workers are keen to work with the community, health board and Welsh government to thoroughly examine the plans and determine how the region gets the best possible healthcare structure it needs. We want to be fully engaged in the transitional arrangements.”
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397