Response to HDUHB “Big Change – Transformation” Consultation

Preseli Pembrokeshire Labour Party has agreed overwhelmingly, with no members voting against the resolution, to adopt the following response to the Hywel Dda University Health Board consultation that has been taking place across West Wales.

Our response outlines our concerns with both the consultation and the proposals, taking into account the voices of both our membership and the wider population of Pembrokeshire who have worked tirelessly to ensure their voices have been heard throughout the process. Below is an extract from the introduction.

We welcomed the HDUHB consultation process, of course, and have seen first hand the work put in at over 160 consultation events. What is equally evident is that the people of Pembrokeshire feel disempowered, despite the consultation process, even with the additional venues added in when requested. It has been widely noted that there wasn’t a representative of the public or even professionals from this county on the Board when selecting the options for consultation. It has also been known that at least one option (out of 30 scenarios) had involved keeping Withybush DGH and A&E, which had been shortlisted as “number 4a”, but rejected by the board when they narrowed it down to three for consultation.

However, it is clear that the consultation covered several disparate elements – the transformation of primary and social care in the community, the current financial problems, and the future development of new assets and reconfiguration of acute and planned care services. We found there had been a number of problems with the consultation. The consultation period was too short for these to be fully debated in the wider community, and too complex when bound together into a single consultation to have a single answer.

Information was insufficient for informed decisions to be made. The most serious failing was that was no differences between the three options on the main elements to secondary service provision in Pembrokeshire – in all 3 the removal of A&E and the downgrade of Withybush, and the provision of a “New hospital” on a greenfield site, were the same. Managing three major workflows simultaneously poses a large risk to the delivery of services and a successful transformation.

This forms the background to the review documented here. It also provides the context for the conclusions and recommendations made.

Please click here to view our response in full.