Our Services

Healthcare in Wales is delivered through a variety of providers, ranging from Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts to community pharmacies and opticians.

This section provides information about the main types of local NHS health and social care services. 
 

GP Services

GP practices in Wales provide services under contract to Local Health Boards. As well as giving advice about health and illnesses, GPs might also provide contraceptive services, vaccinations, maternity services and minor surgery.  Some practices may choose to offer further services such as travel vaccinations, care of the homeless or specialised sexual health services.

Dental Services

Since 1st April 2006 new dental contracts between dentists and Local Health Boards have resulted in changes to the dental system in Wales. Patients are no longer registered with a particular dentist, but a dentist may keep a list of patients for whom they provide regular treatment. They may also offer treatment as a private patient. It is then for an individual to decide whether to accept that arrangement or look for another dentist who provides NHS care. There are three standard charges for NHS treatment. 
Dentists are no longer responsible for providing out of hours treatment when the surgery is closed. This service is now  the responsibility of Local health Boards.

Opticians

There are 3 different types of optical practitioner:
  • Optometrists - also known as ophthalmic opticians, are trained professionals who examine eyes, give advice on visual problems, and prescribe glasses and contact lenses. They can also refer cases of eye disease where appropriate.
  • Ophthalmic Medical Practitioners (OMPs) - are medical doctors specialising in eye-care. They examine eyes, diagnose abnormalities and prescribe suitable corrective lenses.
  • Dispensing Opticians - make up prescriptions from optometrists. They may fit and supply spectacles, contact lenses and other optical appliances, but do not perform eye examinations.
     
  • NHS Wales Directory
  • NHS Direct Wales - Search for an Optician

Pharmacies

Many pharmacies now provide a range of services which can be accessed throughout the week, such as emergency contraception or needle exchange facilities.

In addition to those provided by High Street pharmacies, pharmacy services are also accessible from a range of superstores, frequently operating outside the usual High Street opening hours.
Pharmacists are highly trained, qualified professionals with an expert understanding of medications. In addition to dispensing prescribed medication, they can provide free, expert advice on medicines and related subjects. 

Health, Wellbeing and Support

These services provide information, support and advice on a wide number of conditions as well as offering opportunities for you to share your experiences and expertise with others. Many of these services focus on a specific condition, for example Arthritis and Diabetes and can provide valuable information on conditions and treatments that may be available. They can also support self care for individuals and those who look after them. Other services provide advice and support for carers and parents who are looking for support and respite. 
 

Social Services - (non NHS)

Social Services are local authority departments offering a range of services that provide support to vulnerable people in need, including those with physical or mental disabilities, children in need of care and protection and people experiencing chronic ill health and those who care for them.

Social Services work closely with other local authority departments and agencies, including local NHS services and voluntary organisations, in delivering help and support in the form of services such as education teams, community drug and mental health teams, child-protection services and services for the elderly. 

 

Sexual Health

Early Pregnancy Clinics are available for pregnant women who are experiencing pain or bleeding in the early stage of their pregnancy.
 
Family planning clinics offer free, confidential advice and information on sexual health related issues. Most clinics offer services such as:
  • Abortion counselling
  • Cervical smears
  • Contraception (including emergency)
  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Vasectomy & Female Sterilisation advice
  • Psycho sexual counselling 

Fertility clinics can provide help to those who are not able to conceive naturally. There are several methods of assisted conception that can be used to help people in this situation. 
 
Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) is the branch of medicine that covers male and female sexual organs and the urinary system.
GPs can refer patients to GUM Clinics for Sexually Transmitted Infection tests, although it is possible to make an appointment at some GUM Clinics without a referral. Some clinics offer a drop in service but others require an appointment.
 
Termination clinics offer counselling services and terminations to women using different methods depending on how far into the pregnancy they are.  
Youth Advisory Clinics are specifically for young people. Some clinics specify age restriction but most will see people up to the age of 25. They offer free and confidential advice on a number of topics that affect young people such as:
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Contraception
  • Sexual health
  • Pregnancy testing.
 

Accident & Emergency

Depending on the condition of the patient, the response you will receive may be an Ambulance, a Paramedic in a Rapid Response Vehicle, an Air Ambulance, a patient care service (PCS) Ambulance crew, or a community first responder (CFR) who lives within the community and is trained to deal with life threatening situations such as heart attacks. Our crews are highly skilled professionals who are able to treat and stabilise patients before taking them to the most appropriate hospital if necessary. The ambulances themselves are state of the art and hold a wide range of emergency care equipment including oxygen, a defibrillator, advanced life-saving equipment and emergency drugs including pain relief.
 

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

The Welsh Ambulance Service provides pre-hospital emergency care and treatment throughout Wales. 
A dedicated and skilled staff work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to make sure patients receive the best possible care.
From 1st April 2007 NHS Direct Wales transferred to become an integral part of the Welsh Ambulance Service. NHS Direct Wales provides a 24 hour health advice and information service, signposting the people of Wales to the most appropriate level of healthcare for their needs.

 

Hospitals

Hospitals across Wales provide a range of services and most people in Wales will have access to a District General Hospital (DGH) which provides services on an outpatient, inpatient and day case basis. There are also a network of community hospitals across Wales which are smaller than their DGH counterparts and provide a more limited range of services. Specialised services such as cardiac surgery and burns and plastics services are provided in a limited range of hospitals.

 

Health Boards

The seven Local Health Boards (LHBs) in Wales are responsible for planning and securing delivery of primary, community, secondary care services, and also the specialist  services for their areas.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is one of the largest in Wales. It is responsible for the Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas. It covers both primary (GPs, pharmacies, dentists and optometrists etc) and secondary (hospitals) care.

Aneurin Bevan Health Board is responsible for the delivery of health care services to more then 600,000 people living in the Gwent area.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is the largest health organisation in Wales, providing a full range of primary, community, mental health and acute hospital services for a population of around 676,000 people across the six counties of North Wales (Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham) as well as some parts of mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board provides a wide and unique range of services to its local population and wider-Wales.

Cwm Taf Health Board provides a wide range of services to the community it serves. These include general medical, surgical, maternity, rehabilitation care, accident and emergency services, and some specialist services.

Hywel Dda Local Health Board provides healthcare services to a total population of around 372,320 throughout Carmarthenshire (178,119), Ceredigion (78,200) and Pembrokeshire (116,001). It provides Acute, Primary, Community, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services via General and Community Hospitals, Health Centres, GP's, Dentists, Pharmacists and Optometrists and other sites.

Powys Teaching Health Board covers a large rural area from Machynlleth in the north, to Ystradgynlais in the south. The current organisation was established on 1 October 2009 and encompasses 10 Community Hospitals, 17 main GP surgeries and 13 branch surgeries, 25 dental practices, 22 ophthalmic practices and 23 pharmacies.


NHS Trusts

There are currently 3 NHS Trusts in Wales. These are the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust, Velindre NHS Trust and Public Health Wales NHS Trust

They have a national remit  - The Welsh Ambulance Services Trust for emergency services, and Velindre NHS Trust offering specialist services in cancer care and a range of national support services. Public Health Wales is an NHS organisation providing professionally independent public health advice and services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales. You can find more information on each of the Trusts via the NHS Wales Directory and on their websites below: