Minutes of the AGM, SHA Cymru Wales held on 3rd March 2016 at Unison offices, Cardiff
Guest Speaker: Prof. Marcus Longley
8 members and guests
The Chair introduced Prof Marcus Longley, Director of the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care, University of S. Wales.
Open Part of the Meeting
Prof Longley reminded the meeting of the agenda set three years ago when NHS services across Wales were being re-designed. His work looked at what the evidence said about how change should occur, taking evidence about access, workforce issues and quality of care. Change was to require choosing between acceptable tradeoffs. The work done looked at what was wrong with the current service, and whether access to services mattered in relation to outcomes. The evidence clearly supported a need for change only in major trauma. The plans for change then addressed a narrow range of options, in major trauma and obstetrics / paediatrics and local plans were much criticised for being unambitious.
Since 2012 change has been slow. There is still no agreed major trauma centre for South Wales (either in Cardiff or Swansea). Likewise, there has been some progress in paediatrics and neo natal services but services remain fragile. In emergency medicine, work has been done on new ways of supporting these services.
Yet, while the changes are not sufficient, the services still struggle on, which encourages some to wonder why changes were proposed at all. Primary care is still under-powered and the promised switch from secondary to primary care hasn’t taken place. Health and social care integration is an embarrassment yet the Well Being Act is law from next month.
However, while the evidence about performance, and knowledge of variations in care has improved, major issues affecting workforce availability and professional training remain untouched. It seems that the political and managerial machinery in Wales cannot handle tricky questions.
The discussion that followed noted the political constraints that the electoral system imposed on any Welsh Government, which did not deliver strong Government. Yet progress was possible in matters that could be dealt with “under the political radar” providing there was strong leadership and a clear purpose which the service could own.
- Apologies Julian Tudor Hart, Chris Bryant
- Minutes of the Last AGM
These were agreed
- Chair’s report
This was received and noted. Supportive links with the Welsh Government had been maintained and links made with medical interests and with civil servants when developing policy documents. The Chair was a member of the Welsh Policy Forum where SHA policy on primary care had been accepted. Public health matters had had attention. SHA had been successful in getting a member elected to WEC and our motions on all women short lists and necessary rule changes had prompted action. Officers had met regularly.
- Secretary’s report
SHA Cymru Wales had continued to contribute to the debate about NHS both in Wales and at the UK level. Officers had regularly attended the Central Council and had played a key role on major policy developments both within the SHA and in Labour policy forming. A web site was being developed.
- Treasurer’s Report
The accounts were presented and agreed. A balance of £560 -39p was held.
- Election of officers
The following were elected:
Chair Alison Scouller
Secretary Tony Beddow
Treasurer Philippa Ford
Delegates to Central Council Alison Scouller, Tony Beddow
- Programme of work for 2015
Officers were asked to include:
- Improving SHA Cymru’s web presence and membership drive
- The public health agenda and the impact of welfare reform.
- Monitoring how the manifesto commitments on health were actioned.
- Contributing to the changes being planned to party rules.
- Looking at the extent of devolution within the SHA nationally.
- Understanding emerging health informatics developments