A new policy concerning Health Care generally is being slowly introduced throughout the Hywel Dda Health area of responsibility based on the document "Right Care, Right Place, Right Time.
Put simply it is broken down into 3 main areas:
1.Specialist Centres of Excellence
2. Centralisation of Hospital Services
3. Care in the Home (not in the hospital)
The theory behind this makes sense in eliminating waste, over manning and reducing costs. Unfortunately it is also the case of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater"
In other words as well as improving services in some areas, services are being drastically reduced in others. This is the case in the Hywel Dda Health Board area (Cardigan, Pembroke and Carmarthenshire) where most of the services are being centralised in Glangwillli, Carmarthen.
The Centralisation of Services in Carmarthen and the consequent Reduction of Services in Llanelli is iniquitous and will put lives at risk.
This policy is unproven in an area that has a large but well spread Rural Community and pockets of heavy population. As an example Llanelli is the 5th largest town in Wales where Carmarthen is the 40th!
The policy of Centralisation may work in large connurbations areas but in this case Hywel Dda is centralising in the wrong place.....
Of course the title of the Paper that this whole premise is based on is:
"The Hywel Dda Rural Health Implementation Plan" and Llanelli is an urban not rural community - need we say more?