The Regional Partnership Board brings together partners from local government, the NHS, third and independent sectors with service users and carers. Our aim is to transform care and support services in West Wales. Our region covers the area of Hywel Dda University Health Board and includes the local authority areas of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
We are required to produce a Population Needs Assessment (PNA) under section 14 of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act and in 2017 published our first. This was an important document, as it was the first time we had produced an assessment of the health and care needs of our population in this way.
The findings from this assessment have since guided our planning, investment and service delivery in West Wales. We are now required to publish our second. This is an opportunity to update and refresh the findings of our first PNA and to consider the progress we have made.
Central to our approach has been engagement and collaboration with the people who live in West Wales. We have worked closely with our stakeholders, including our Public Service Boards (PSBs), our professional and stakeholder working groups and, most importantly, wherever we can, our citizens.
Welsh Government provides detailed guidance for population assessments and there are a few important changes for this version. Firstly, we must give specific attention to the needs of Autistic people and those living with Dementia.
Secondly, we must take account of the impact of COVID-19. We know this has affected everyone in our community, but particularly those who use health and social care services.
Also, the Welsh Government has asked that this year we undertake a ‘Market Stability Report.’ This is a separate report which will consider whether we have sufficient services in the care sector and how able they are to meet future demand.
Whilst these assessments are important pieces of work, more important are our actions that will follow them. These will be developed and included in our West Wales Area Plan, which we will produce by April 2023, setting out our ambitions for the years ahead.