1. ITV Report

Plans for 19 new 'accessible' health and care centres across Wales

The facilities are expected across Wales by 2021 Credit: PA

Plans for nineteen new integrated health and care centres across Wales by 2021, have been announced by Health Secretary Vaughan Gething.

The facilities are intended to bring care services closer to peoples homes by improving access. Health boards will look to work with local authorities, housing associations and the third sector, to bring public services into community hubs.

Funding of up to £68 million will go towards new community hubs and GP centres, and the refurbishment of existing clinics and health centres.

The Health Secretary, Vaughan Gething AM, says it will bring a range of services closer to homes.

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.

– Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary

However, Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the BMA's General Practitioners Committee says she's concerned about the lack of involvement of local clinicians:

Whilst we welcome improving access to services closer to people’s homes, 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.

– Dr Charlotte Jones, Chair GPC Wales

A part of the key commitment in Taking Wales Forward, it is the biggest targeted investment in primary and community care infrastructure by Welsh Government.

Construction will be subject to the agreement of successful business cases from the local health boards.