RESIDENTS of Penarth have responded to the health board’s latest engagement exercise at Belle Vue Pavilion over the town's proposed ‘wellbeing hub’.

Read below some thoughts on the board's plans for healthcare transformation in the Vale.

Penarth Times: The health board held their latest engagement session on the wellbeing hub at the end of OctoberThe health board held their latest engagement session on the wellbeing hub at the end of October (Image: Newsquest)

Dear Sir/Madame,

The communications ideas of the Health Board would be recognised by the Sheriff of Nottingham in advertising a search for Robin Hood – random distribution of physical notices (with no obligation to display them) and contacting groups with no obligation to make (or mechanism for) wider distribution.

We are in the 21st Century yet the Health Board has no system for electronic distribution of notice of such notices or for any follow-up in the way adopted by many other public and private bodies where you can sign up to be notified by email of additions (or chosen sub-sets of such additions) to the website with precise addresses to which to go for more details.

As to the way in which the information was displayed and the questionnaires! There was no notice explaining what was required of those attending and the questionnaires had five questions relevant to the session (of which three were ‘’closed’’ questions) and seven about respondents’ sex, religion etc.

The closed questions mostly needed an answer such as ‘’it depends where the Hub is’’ but that was not an option. The list of specialisms was in small print on a long wall and not repeated on the questionnaire.


Roger Thomas


Dear Sir/Madame,

What’s the purpose of the Health Board’s Wellbeing Hub?

The health board held a session at Belle Vue in Penarth asking what people want.  An outline of 28 services were posted up and people were supposed to choose five they'd like.  Nearly all are services already provided, to a large extent locally.

Previously the Wellbeing Hub idea was to move services out of acute hospitals to bring them "closer-to-home".  Moving two GP surgeries from Penarth to Cogan looked strange.

Now the health board are proposing to centralise community services in the rebadged Eastern Vale Hub, taking them further-from-home.

A dental service (for vulnerable people) as they proposed needs special equipment and clean-room conditions - one would be welcome in the Vale, but surely sited in Barry hospital.

Likewise, a nurse-led heart clinic needs heart monitoring equipment with video-link to a specialist cardiac consultant.

Wound services are well provided by GP nurses; the specialised service (at St Davids hospital) could be replicated in the Vale, but again at Barry Hospital with the Minor Injuries Unit.

Ante/Postnatal services are best associated with GP surgeries in each locality, not centralised at Cogan.

Adult and child mental health services could be brought back to Penarth but what's the point of integrating with medical services? 

An outpatients unit attached to Coed y Hafan in Llandough hospital might make some sense.

Is £20m building project designed for Cogan now searching for a purpose?  It does not deliver the health minister’s priorities for an Urgent Primary Care Centre to relieve the burden on A&E at the Heath.

Nor does it deliver a Falls service, which could be nurse/paramedic-led with simple X-ray equipment.

Those purposes are urgent and might attract Welsh Government funding, but central in Penarth in the old police station, with easy access by bus and on foot. 

While the Health Board did say they are considering this location, this should be the first choice as Welsh Government policy is to site public services in town centres.


Max Wallis