Welsh Labour’s Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has launched the Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare.
The Minister also announced further funding of £50,000 to support the work of the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative in 2016-17. He also confirmed his support for the re-appointment of the current independent co-chairs for the coming year. The collaborative is creating a new approach to delivering health and social care in this largely rural and sparsely populated area.
The Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare is being set up by the collaborative to assess and undertake research to inform the future of healthcare in Mid Wales. The centre will establish a network of experts and will work with professional bodies and universities including Aberystwyth and University of Wales Trinity St David to develop structured training programmes for clinical staff.
There have been some real improvements and successes already in Mid Wales, including the development of a sustainable model for Bronglais Hospital. A new senior leadership team is in place and a new community ward, Y Bamwy, has opened, with 12 beds for people who need more support before discharge.
Cardiff and Swansea Medical Schools are planning to deploy academic GPs and GP clinical fellows in Mid Wales – these new positions are attracting people to live and work in Mid Wales.
Last year, the Welsh Labour Government announced £250,000 to improve improving telehealth technology and a six month teledermatology pilot will link GP practices in north Ceredigion with consultant dermatology specialists in Cardiff.