Llanelli AM Keith Davies has outlined his disappointment at the findings of the recent engagement process carried out by the Hywel Dda Health Board.
A report seen by the AM describes the huge amount of work undertaken by the Local Health Board, including roadshows, meetings and briefings attended by Health Board personnel alongside the distribution of a leaflet and DVD to 100,000 households.
However, despite assertions by the LHB that all households had received the leaflet, many local residents contacted the AM concerned that they had missed out on the important information. That prompted the LHB to reveal that a private company it had appointed to deliver in certain areas had gone bust – and the engagement packs were missing.
Despite an extension to the engagement process, just 569 submissions were analysed by the company working on behalf of Hywel Dda.
Keith Davies AM said:
”As this was supposed to be the exercise that gave Hywel Dda the building blocks to consult upon, I think the management team at the LHB will be very disappointed the response.
“Questions must now be asked about the direction of the engagement exercise given that the Chair, Chris Martin acknowledged difficulties mid-way through the process. There is little point in saying now that things must be done differently. How can the LHB be confident that they have reached out to enough people before moving on to the next stage?”
The LHB has set itself a timetable to consult on its final plans – starting in less than two months. However, the final deliberations of the South Wales Programme Board on shared specialist centres are on-going, with no dates on which to consult having been agreed.
Keith Davies AM continued:
“The Health Board must work in collaboration with Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and others to develop specialist services together. Hywel Dda Health Board is not doing enough of that.
“I am alarmed that Hywel Dda management intend to press on with formal consultation from August 6th and will convey that concern to the LHB, the Health Minister and First Minister in Cardiff. I want them to halt their plan to consult so quickly. There is absolutely no merit in being first on this one.”