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Minister launches the Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford today launched the Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare at an event in Aberystwyth.
Thursday 24 March 2016

The Minister also announced further funding of £50,000 to support the work of the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative in 2016-17. He also confirmed his support for the re-appointment of the current independent co-chairs for the coming year. The collaborative is creating a new approach to delivering health and social care in this largely rural and sparsely populated area.    

The Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare is being set up by the collaborative to assess and undertake research to inform the future of healthcare in Mid Wales.  The centre will establish a network of experts and will work with professional bodies and universities including Aberystwyth and University of Wales Trinity St David to develop structured training programmes for clinical staff.  

Mark Drakeford said:

“With the establishment of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare, the Mid Wales Collaborative has taken forward all the recommendations made by the Mid Wales Study and, in doing so, worked closely with local communities.  

“There have been some real improvements and successes, including the development of a sustainable model for Bronglais Hospital.  A new senior leadership team is in place and a new community ward, Y Bamwy, has opened, with 12 beds for people who need more support before discharge.

“The Cardiff and Swansea Medical Schools want to deploy academic GPs and GP clinical fellows in Mid Wales – these new positions are attracting people to live and work in Mid Wales.

“Last year, I announced £250,000 to improve improving telehealth technology. Thanks to this, and a good deal of work on the part of local clinical staff and the collaborative, a six month teledermatology pilot will link GP practices in north Ceredigion with consultant dermatology specialists in Cardiff.  

“The three university health boards and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust are funding the Centre for Excellence in Rural Healthcare to help to spearhead research and innovation. The centre will combine healthcare expertise, community knowledge and academic research to set the course of the future of healthcare in Mid Wales.”

Dr Ruth Hall, Independent Co-Chair of the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, said:

“The launch of the Centre for Excellence in Rural Health and Social Care is the result of much support and enthusiasm for the development of rural health services from a wide range of parties. Firstly we are very grateful to the Minister and his staff for their continuous focus on the work of the collaborative. Secondly we would like to thank the universities and colleges for their enthusiastic buy-in to the concept.

“Thirdly we would like to thank the member organisations and staff of the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative who have provided the resources needed to make the Centre for Excellence a reality. Finally we would like to thank the people of Mid Wales who have shown a great interest in and enthusiasm for this development at our recent engagement events.”

Jack Evershed, Independent Co-Chair of the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, added:

“With all these important stakeholders providing support and impetus we can look forward to building the centre to achieve the aims of the original concept.”

The Welsh Government’s additional investment of £50,000 will support the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative work in 2016-17.

 

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Health and social services 24 March 2016 Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales
 
 

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