The group has had a very active year as there are many changes occurring in NHS Wales and social care. At our bi-monthly meetings we have had stimulating speakers on a variety of topics. In September 2018 Carol Young outlined the workings of the Patient Education Programme for Patients(EPP); this is a six week course ,two hours each week, which aims to enable people with long-term health conditions to self manage their condition and be more independent. In November Fiona Kinghorn , Public health Wales, and and Amanda Willacot, Cardiff and Vale UniversityHhealth
Board, gave presentations on the programmes Patient Reported Outcome Measures(PROMS) and Patient Reported Experience Measures(PREMS). These programmes show how looking at patient outcomes and experience contribute to redesigning health services.
The group started 2019 with a presentation in January given by May Baxter, Arthritis Care, who explained the many different forms of arthritis and the support which Arthritis Care gives to research on arthritis and to patients with arthritis. In March Helen Ronchetti and colleagues from Public Health Wales gave a stimulating and vivid account of the development of antibiotic medicines and the current challenge of antibiotic resistance which can reduce the capacity to treat many illnesses
effectively. Policy in prescribing now aims to reduce the use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary.
Our meeting in May welcomed Steve Allen, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council, who described the proposed changes to CHCs later this year . CHCs will be retitled Citizens’ Voice and concentrate on representing patient and public views on health services and social care. The new organisation will continue to provide a national advocacy service which will be extended to
service users in social care. The current quasi-inspectorial role of CHCs will be curtailed, but the new organisation will have the right to present its views to Health Boards. At our July meeting the group had a wide ranging discussion on local issues such as the problems of getting a GP appointment, reorganisation of GP services in Penarth, the proposed wellbeing hub at Cogan Leisure Centre and the proposed closure of Sam Davis Ward at Barry Hospital.
The group continues to influence broad policy in NHS Wales and has responded to consultations on Community Health Councils, Thoracic Services in South and West Wales, Loneliness and Isolation and Obesity. Wherever possible we promote prevention through publicising screening services for bowel cancer, cervical cancer and abdominal aortic aneurism (AAA) together with supporting falls prevention in the community. We maintain a strong interest in mental health services for older
people and former ex armed services personnel, age discrimination ,carers services and dementia services.
New members are always welcome with interests or experience in any aspect of health, social care or age discrimination. Future meetings will include presentations on diet, exercise and falls prevention , carers, dementia and social care in the Vale.
Ron Walton,
Chairperson.

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