Mid Wales

Way forward on health challenges at Newtown conference

Bronglais
Image caption The report found Bronglais had a strategic role in mid Wales healthcare

A way forward to improve patient care across mid Wales will be mapped out at a conference.

It is six months since a 200-page report by a health economist urged three health boards work more closely.

Prof Marcus Longley found patient "mistrust" over the future of Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.

The health minister will join experts on Thursday in Powys from as far afield as the United States to look at future challenges.

As well as better organisation of local health care, the event will look at issues ranging from GP recruitment to appointments over the phone.

Prof Longley, of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, called for Hywel Dda, Powys Teaching and Betsi Cadwaladr health boards to collaborate.

The future of Bronglais in Aberystwyth had been "dogged by uncertainty" with fears it was being run down. He called for the hospital to be at the heart of changes.

Jack Evershed, a campaigner to protect hospital services is now independent co-chair of the new Mid Wales Health Collaborative, along with Dr Ruth Hall, former chief medical health officer for Wales.

They will start working with health boards and the Welsh Ambulance Service to look at putting the Longley recommendations into practice after the conference in Newtown.

"We will looking at reaching some idea what priorities and approaches we need to adopt and the challenges we need to address urgently," said Mr Evershed.

He said he hoped the outcome would include lessons which could be taken to other parts of rural Wales and beyond.

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