Welsh Government
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Rural Health Plan breaks down barriers between hospital and community care

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Lesley Griffiths, has praised the progress of a rural health board towards actively breaking down barriers between hospital and community care.

Powys teaching Health Board has made strides in implementing the Rural Health Plan and the Setting the Direction strategy to provide integrated services, which feeds into the Welsh Government’s overarching ‘Together for Health’ strategy. The Minister was guided through an exhibition in Llanidloes Town Hall of the work being undertaken around issues such as Reablement, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Standards for Healthcare, Transforming Care, Maternity Services and the Community Health Council.

After talking to the stakeholders involved in supporting the work within this rural community, Lesley Griffiths toured the Llanidloes War Memorial Hospital. Clinical leaders in the Health Board worked with the local GP practice to improve access to services at the hospital, and there are further plans to refurbish the front of the hospital as a Rural Health Suite to enhance the services that can be accessed directly, with the support of the Rural Health Plan Implementation funding.

The Minister was shown around the Penrallt Day Unit, which provides care for elderly and rehabilitation patients. This helps to reduce the need for inpatient admission, facilitate early intervention for diagnosis and treatment, and enable earlier discharge. The Day Unit embraced the 1000 Lives+ Falls Collaborative since its launch in 2010 by making changes and improvements in fall prevention.

The Minister also saw the work being done in the Graham Davies ward, where patients are admitted to prevent admission to acute hospitals, to support early discharge from acute hospitals and for rehabilitation.

The ward team successfully adopted the 1000 Lives+ Transforming Care principles since starting this initiative in March 2011 and are currently looking to evaluate the effectiveness of their improvements to date.

Andrew Cottom, Chief Executive of Powys teaching Health Board said:

“We are very pleased to welcome the Minister for Health to Llanidloes. This is a great opportunity for the staff here to demonstrate the excellent work that they do for the people in the local community. By developing and integrating Health with Social Care and other partners within the area we have been able to modernise and improve the services offered in line with the Welsh Government plans set out in ‘Together for Health’.”

The Minister for Health and Social Services said:

“Visiting both the hospital and GP surgery has given me a real sense of how the traditional barriers between hospital and community have been replaced with an integrated approach which provides the best possible service for local people and makes the most effective use of available resources".

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