It was fantastic to visit Maesteg Community Hospital last week to meet with Dale Stolzenberg, Assistant Director for Transformation, Strategic and Operational Planning, to discuss the redevelopment of Maesteg Community Hospital.
Last week, my team and I visited Maesteg Community Hospital to discuss the vision that the professional and dedicated team of staff have for it. It was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the development of the current facility into an integrated health and care hub, bringing health, local council and third sector services together - including through the provision of long-term, step down, palliative, rehab and respite - to deliver positive benefits to Maesteg and its communities.
The hospital is a vital asset to the community, offering a multidisciplinary facility with an excellent community mental health team and outpatient clinics.
During my visit, it was apparent that the hospital team are working closely with residents from across the wider Llynfi Valley to help shape the future of health, care and wellbeing in Maesteg. By organising a series of community engagement events across the valley, residents and community groups have been and continue to be able to share their experiences of using local services and their ideas about how the hospital can help improve the lives of people in the community.
As expected, there are some challenges that need to be overcome if the hospital is to be made easily accessible for all. Transport links to the hospital in particular seem to be a significant issue: transport options within the Llynfi Valley are limited and expensive. This is a major barrier to accessing health and care services: it increases isolation and also reduces access to those recreational activities that may reduce someone's chances of needing to attend hospital in the first place. There are also some difficulties in accessing information regarding the available health and care services within the Llynfi Valley, including from third sector organisations.
However, that the team at Maesteg Hospital are working so closely with residents makes clear how focused they are on addressing these issues. A project of this size will take time, but the benefits to the community will be invaluable.
Many thanks to the team at the hospital for inviting me along and taking the time to meet with me. I'm looking forward to seeing how the plans for the hospital's redevelopment progress in consultation with the community. It's crucial that the hospital develops in a way that benefits the community, with the input of the community.
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