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Written Statement - Healthcare in Mid Wales

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Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
Following representations from local members, clinicians and community representatives, I issued a statement on the 24 January setting out my intention to commission the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC) to carry out an independent study of the issues and opportunities for providing accessible, high quality, safe and sustainable health services, which are best suited to the specific needs of people living in Mid Wales.  The statement included outline Terms of Reference and detailed my request for WIHSC to take soundings from a range of key stakeholders in order to conclude final details of the study over a 3 – 4 week period.

WIHSC has concluded an extensive engagement exercise, receiving responses from 145 people through face to face meetings, telephone calls, and written correspondence.  A summary of their initial findings can be found on the WIHSC website.  I have considered the findings with interest and amended the Terms of Reference accordingly.  

The final Terms of Reference are attached, marking the formal start of the study, which will take until the end of September this year to complete.  The study will be independent and will report directly to me.  A small contract monitoring group will be established comprising officials and the WIHSC study team.  Its role will be to ensure that the study is delivered in a timely manner.  It will not be responsible for steering the study, with WIHSC assuming full responsibility for determining the best approach to deliver the study in line with the Terms of Reference.

When complete, I will be giving the findings careful and open minded consideration and will expect Hywel Dda, Powys and Betsi Cadwaladr Health Boards, which are responsible for meeting the health needs of people living in Mid Wales, along with the Welsh Ambulance Trust, to take account of them in their plans.