Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) and the community of Llandovery have begun exploring how a new community hub, including inpatient beds, could be developed to support health and well-being services in the town in the future.
Representatives from local organisations who support the community and people’s well-being were joined by representatives from the health board, local authority and partner organisations at a recent event to share their views on the challenges and opportunities. The proposed development of a community hub in Llandovery is part of a wider programme of investment in community health and care facilities, as outlined in the health board’s programme business case, submitted to Welsh Government in February 2022.
The aim is to integrate existing health and social care services, alongside third sector and community organisations within the hub recognising the contribution of other factors such as housing, employment and leisure, in an individual’s overall health. This is an aspiration in the health board’s Health and Care Strategy called “A Healthier mid and west Wales”.
There is potential to develop the former Ysgol Rhys Prichard school, which has been highlighted within wider growth and regeneration opportunities for Llandovery and the surrounding area. This is part of Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to address challenges in ten rural communities across the county.
Re-development of the school presents opportunities to support community well-being. It will have the space to host cross-generational activities, from baby and toddler groups to mobility classes. Community hubs can also house community led groups such as arts and crafts, pottery and the like. The ambition would be to include well-being services and activities alongside health and care services and bring them closer to the community in Llandovery.
The proposals will also explore the potential to reopen MIU, expand radiology services as well as bring more outpatient services to the community. Further services available in the community such as a pharmacy and GP services could also be explored within scope.
Lee Davies, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s Executive Director of Strategic Development and Operational Planning said:”The event gave us a chance to visualise and think about ways we can deliver more services locally, and work with the thriving and proactive community in Llandovery to enhance mental health and well-being support for the town and surrounding areas.This is in addition to sustaining existing services such as the retention of inpatient beds.
The project will now be taken forward with input from a range of participants to develop a business case for the needed investment. Rhian Matthews, Integrated System Director Hywel Dda University HealthBoard added, “The development of Llandovery community hub is key part of realising a fundamental shift from an emphasis on hospitals to a focus on working with people and communities, to keep them well in or close to their own homes. The move to an integrated social model for health and well-being means we will support people with the right care, at the right time in the right place. That must be done in partnership with wider organisations and the community right from the design and development stages.”
“We are at very early stages and this development is about better meeting local need and improving services. We will continue to work with local people and service providers. Opportunities for wider community involvement will be offered during 2023 to shape the vision for the hub and to generate more ideas.”
The proposed investment in Llandovery Community Hub is part of the health board’s programme of significant investment (over £1.3bn) which is being sought from Welsh Government to transform community, hospital and care facilities to deliver our strategy.
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