£70m earmarked for health centres in Wales

£70m earmarked for health centres in Wales

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced ambitious plans to deliver nineteen new integrated health and care centres across Wales by 2021.

Funding of up to £68 million has been allocated for the centres with construction set to be subject to the agreement of successful business cases from the local health boards around Wales.

The Welsh Assembly expects that all schemes can be delivered by 2021.

This is the biggest targeted investment in primary and community care infrastructure by Welsh Government.

 The pipeline of facilities is intended to improve access to a range of health and social care services closer to people’s homes.

The provision of a new generation of integrated health and care centres is a key commitment in the Government’s strategy of ‘Taking Wales Forward’.

The 19 proposed projects (listed below) are looking to invest in a number of ways, including the refurbishment and redevelopments of currently existing sites as well as a number of completely new builds.

A key theme of the pipeline is integration and health boards are looking to work with a range of delivery partners, including local authorities, housing associations and the third sector, to bring together a range of public services into community hubs.

The schemes include the following :

  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg: Penclawdd health centre; Murton community clinic, Swansea; Bridgend town centre primary care centre; and Swansea wellness centre
  • Aneurin Bevan: Tredegar health and wellbeing centre; Newport East resource centre
  • Betsi Cadwaladr: Central Denbighshire clinic/hospital redevelopment and Waunfawr primary care centre, Gwynedd
  • Cardiff and Vale: Maelfa Health Centre Hub; Cogan Hub Development and Pentyrch Surgery
  • Cwm Taf: Tonypandy health centre; Dewi Sant phase 2 development and Mountain Ash primary care centre
  • Hywel Dda: Aberaeron integrated care centre; Fishguard health centre; Cross Hands integrated care centre
  • Powys: Machynlleth - reconfiguration and extension to create a primary and community care hub; Llanfair Caereinion primary care centre

Vaughan Gething said: “People in the 21st Century expect to be treated in modern, advanced health care centres that deliver a wide range of services all under one roof.

“We agree and by targeting investment in this way it is hoped that opportunities for delivering service change can be delivered upon.

“We’re funding the future of healthcare in Wales and the pipeline of projects I’m announcing today will make a significant difference to the care people receive closer to home in their communities.”

Dr Charlotte Jones, chairwoman of the BMA's GP committee in Wales, has raised concerns over the proposal: “It’s difficult to assess the impact this will have without knowing the intricacies of how it will work.

“It’s concerning to us that the initial reaction from LMC members suggests that they haven’t been involved in the design of the scheme.

“It’s vital that local clinicians, who understand the needs of the local community, are involved in service design to ensure that patients receive the services they deserve.

“As part of the work to improve access to local services, investment is desperately needed to ensure the GP estate is fit for purpose. Robust premises strategies must be developed, with the full involvement of LMCs.”