All change for patients as shake-up bid revealed
SOME of the biggest potential changes to health services across the region in years will be revealed next week.
After months of discussions, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board will finally unveil its Changing For The Better "vision for the future" at a special meeting on Wednesday.
Since the start of this year the board has been involved in detailed talks on how it could do things differently with the aim, as ABM has put it, of making its services comparable with the very best.
Those talks have involved some 340 people including GPs, hospital doctors, nurses, midwives and other health workers, along with representatives of external partners such as the ambulance service, councils, voluntary organisations and Swansea University.
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Changing For The Better (C4B) looks at seven key service areas: unscheduled care, long-term conditions, care for frail, older people, care of children and young people; maternity and newborns, staying healthy and planned care.
As part of this process, ABM set out the background in a document, Why Your Local NHS Needs To Change, published in May, and invited people to respond to it.
Running in parallel with C4B, and overlapping in parts, ABM, Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf and Powys health boards have been working together on the South Wales Programme.
Discussions here have centred on major injury, major sickness or problems during childbirth.
Both were due to have been unveiled at the end of July. But then it was decided that, as many people who might want to comment could be away, this should be deferred.
"We are now ready to share our vision for the NHS in ABM over the next five years and how it might change to achieve our aspirations and overcome the challenges facing us," states a report going before board members next week.
The meeting will take place in the Waterton Technology Centre, Bridgend, on Wednesday, starting at 2pm. It is timed to coincide with the launch of the South Wales programme.
C4B is expected to look at potential scenarios for reconfiguring services. Details are being kept hush-hush until Wednesday. But as ABM's three largest hospitals, it is a logical assumption that Singleton, Morriston and Princess of Wales will play prominent roles.
Booklets, leaflets, frequently asked questions and videos are being produced as part of the process for both C4B and the South Wales Programme.
They will be used as part of an engagement process that will see a series of community drop-in sessions take place across the ABM area from next month until Christmas. (See panel)
The board will then come up with more detailed proposals later this year, to be followed by formal consultation starting in early 2013.