Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Voluntary Sector Joint Liaison Committee: 17th October, 2012


Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (C&V UHB)



Together for Health: South Wales Programme


Purpose of the Report

1.      To inform the Committee of the current engagement process on the South Wales Programme.


2.      Together for Health: A Five Year Vision for the NHS in Wales was launched by the Minister for Health and Social Services in November 2011; it sets out the Welsh Government’s (WG) vision for the NHS in Wales over the next five years. The document clearly sets out that services must change to reduce health inequalities across Wales and to improve the performance of our services.

The strategic vision is firmly rooted in the principles of the Bevan Commission report which sets out the ambition for Wales to provide “services best suited to Wales but comparable with the best anywhere”.


The Report recognises that, whilst strong foundations are in place to support change and improvements, there are still tough challenges to be faced. These are identified as:

  • Health has improved but not for everyone and our population is ageing;
  • Health care quality has improved but the NHS can do even better;
  • Expectations are continually rising;
  • Medical Staffing is becoming a real limitation on our services; and
  • Funding is limited.

The priority areas for action are set out as:

  • improving health as well as treating sickness;
  • one system for health;
  • hospitals for the 21st century as part of a well designed, fully integrated network of care;
  • aiming at excellence everywhere;
  • absolute transparency on performance;
  • a new partnership with the public; making every penny count;
  • and always with our staff.

3.      Case for Change


An independent national case for change has been facilitated and led by Professor Marcus Longley, Director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care. The Best Configuration of Hospital Services for Wales: A Review of the Evidence is in four parts: Summary; Access; Quality & Safety; and the workforce. This independent research was commissioned by the LHB Chief Executives in South Wales, and this ‘case for change’ represents the first time that the existing evidence has been brought together in one place to represent the overall picture of the issues that are driving change across the NHS.


Some of the main findings of the report show:

  • The current configuration of hospitals does not deliver best outcomes for patents uniformly across Wales;
  • Service quality needs to be improved if Wales is to have services comparable to the best healthcare systems in the world;
  • Unless action is taken quickly, the shortage of medical staff in some services is likely to lead to the unplanned closure, and possible collapse of these services;
  • The increasing specialisation of some types of services mean that centralising expert clinical staff leads to better patient outcomes in these specialties;
  • The nature of healthcare means that many hospital services are interdependent and outcomes for patients could be improved if certain types of services are brought together on one site;
  • The impact of longer travelling distances as a result of centralisation can be lessened by boosting pre-hospital care, using telemedicine more widely and effectively, and providing better transport links.

4.      South Wales Programme


In early 2012, the five Local Health Boards (LHBs) in South Wales - Cardiff and Vale, Aneurin Bevan, Cwm Taf, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Powys - established a Programme Board to consider the process of jointly developing strategic plans for health services in South Wales i.e. the South Wales Programme, in response to Together for Health: A Five Year Vision for the NHS in Wales.


During May and June of 2012, over 300 clinicians and other interested parties from across Mid and South Wales, participated in a series of clinical conferences designed to engender debate about the future models of certain clinical services across the region. The Clinical Summits were designed to provide clinicians and other stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss in detail the core services at the heart of the South Wales Programme and begin to crystallise ideas on how best to plan and deliver them in the future. The two summits made progress on achieving clinical consensus in some important service areas:

  • Paediatrics and neonatal care;
  • Obstetrics;
  • Accident & Emergency; and
  • Trauma services.

All Health Boards have been fully involved in this process.


All documentation on the South Wales Programme and how views can be shared can be accessed via 


Engagement & Consultation


5.      The five health boards in South Wales – Abertawe Bro Morgannwg, Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf and Powys – have launched a 12 week engagement programme of engagement with the public regarding the issues facing some specialist hospital services in the region.


The engagement period:


Commences: 26th September 2012

Closing date: 19th December 2012


Hywel Dda and Betsi Cadwaladr LHBs are currently undertaking formal public consultation on their proposals for service change.


Once the engagement process is concluded the Programme Board will meet to consider the outcome of the engagement process and take forward the next stage of development of plans in January 2013, which are likely to be subject to a formal public consultation process.


6.      Purpose of Engagement


A series of questions are set out within the Engagement Documents which are primarily focussed on:

  • Whether the case for change to secure safe and sustainable services across the LHBs is made and accepted;
  • If so, what will that mean for services provided across South Wales, and locally.

Cardiff and Vale UHB has already undertaken significant strategic service change since its inception, primarily through proposals which have been consulted and engaged upon in Making a Difference and Making a Difference 2. The UHB is not therefore proposing any changes to local services through this engagement process. However, we will need to be mindful that service change elsewhere may potentially impact upon those services we provide, and these may become clearer following the engagement process.




7.      The UHB welcomes comments or requests for presentations on the South Wales Programme, and these may be emailed to


Contact Officer

Siân Harrop-Griffiths, Assistant Director of Planning

Cardiff & Vale UHB

Responsible Officer:

Paul Hollard, Director of Planning

Cardiff & Vale UHB