News from the Cwm Taf University Health Board – September 2016

Cwm Taf University Health Board held its latest Board meeting on Tuesday September 13th at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This bulletin sets out the key messages from the meeting about healthcare provision in Cwm Taf.


The full Board papers can be found here but if you have any queries or questions about the issues discussed please do not hesitate to contact the communications team at cwmtaf.news@wales.nhs.uk


Cwm Taf outlines its ongoing commitment to ‘people not just patients’ at its Annual General Meeting


Cwm Taf University Health Board published its Annual Report and Annual Quality Statement at this year’s AGM reaffirming its commitment to quality improvement and making a difference to its local communities.


All NHS Wales organisations are required to publish an Annual Quality Statement which reports to the public in an open and transparent way on progress with the quality and standards of the services.


Among our achievements in the last year were:

  • A national patient safety award for the ‘natural waking’ initiative allowing those with dementia to follow their own routines
  • Expansion of our maternal smoking cessation project which involves midwives supporting mums-to–be with tailored 1:1 quit support
  • A Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Programme which uses software to identify risk factors for heart disease and stroke early on
  • Maintained the lowest rate of MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) and C-Difficile superbug infections across all health boards in Wales
  • Begun the trial of a lifesaving toolkit to tackle sepsis, the life-threatening blood poisoning condition
  • Continued to be the best performing health board in Wales for ambulance handover times within 15 minutes from arrival at A&E
  • Launched Valleys Steps – a community mental health support programme to improve well being and reduce the use of anti-depressants

You can read our Annual Quality Statement here



and our Annual Report here:



Cwm Taf remains at ‘routine measures’ in Welsh Government escalation review


Welsh Government recently announced the escalation status of health boards keeping Cwm Taf at ‘routine arrangements. Areas of performance that need improvement are being addressed. ‘Tripartite’ arrangements between the Welsh Government, Wales Audit Office and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, consider escalation and intervention arrangements for NHS organisations. A wide range of information and intelligence is considered to identify any issues and put in place support to resolve them.


The framework has four escalation levels: Routine arrangements; Enhanced monitoring; Targeted intervention and Special measures. While Cwm Taf remains at ‘routine arrangements’ which is testament to the hard work going on right across the organisation.


Three other health boards were escalated to ‘targeted intervention’ while the Welsh Ambulance service was de-escalated to ‘routine’.


Breast service ‘centre of excellence’ to be developed at Royal Glamorgan Hospital


An integrated breast care service will be established in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital from early 2017, following approval from Board members.


Following extensive engagement and planning all breast care services will be located on one site including outpatients, diagnostics, nursing and patient support services. While the majority of breast surgery was already carried out at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, the service re-design means that all breast surgery will in future be carried out on the site.


The priority is to consolidate all existing services currently being delivered across Cwm Taf in one place to improve the experience for patients and achieve diagnostic certainty as quickly as possible.


Public Health Annual Report shows the inequality gap has narrowed slightly


The Annual Report from the Director Public Health shows that overall life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have improved in recent years in Cwm Taf, and the inequality gap between the most and least deprived has narrowed. This has not been seen in other parts of Wales.


The findings reflect the wide range of work being undertaken within Cwm Taf to tackle health inequalities but many challenges remain with Cwm Taf University Health Board area continuing to serve the most deprived population in Wales.


The report highlights the need for partners across Cwm Taf to give a commitment to increase their focus on prevention, both through commissioning approaches, as well as their policy development and day to day practice.


Despite an encouraging downward trend in recent years, adult smoking levels within Cwm Taf stand at 23%, remaining higher than the Wales average of 20% (Welsh Health Survey 2014/15). At 29%, adult obesity in Cwm Taf is statistically significantly higher than the Wales average (23%) and is the highest among all health boards in Wales.


Consumption of alcohol above guidelines in Cwm Taf fell from 41% to 40%. This is the same as the Wales average. Consumption above guidelines in Merthyr Tydfil remained static at 37%. Rhondda Cynon Taf showed a 1% fall in 2014/15 to 41% which is a positive trend overall.


You can read the annual report of the Director of Public Health in full here


Cwm Taf launches three-year Carers’ strategy


Cwm Taf University Health Board, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council have joined forces to improve support for carers of all ages with the launch of a new three-year strategy.


The Strategy is also in response to the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 (SSWB) and the repeal of the Carers Strategies (Wales) Measure 2010.


The SSWB Act came into force in April 2016. The Act will transform the way social services are delivered, promoting people’s independence and giving them stronger voice and control. The SSWB Act provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support, and also Carers who need support. It simplifies and consolidates the law relating to carers and, for the first time, gives them equivalent rights to those that they care for. The Act applies to carers of all ages.


You can read the Carers’ Strategy 2016-19 in full here


Cwm Taf’s recruitment campaign brings more nurses to the Valleys


Since the launch of our digital nurse recruitment campaign on August 1st we have received more than 140 expressions of interest which have led to 32 applications for nursing vacancies across Cwm Taf and an additional four being interviewed for the staff bank.


Nine nurses from Cwm Taf University Health Board in South Wales are the stars of the recruitment campaign, launched to attract nurses to work in the area. In a series of short videos, the nurses, from a variety of roles, share their experiences of working for the health board and living in the region, which covers Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.


The campaign is based on feedback from student nurses, young graduate nurses and nurses currently working in Cwm Taf UHB. Entitled ‘C is for….’, the campaign showcases life at Cwm Taf focusing on the unique care, culture, community spirit and career opportunities that exist. For more information about the campaign visit www.joincwmtaf.wales


Data shows improvement in health board waiting times performance


Performance for June was 84.4% against the four-hour target and 98.2% against the 12-hour target. This is an improvement on the May performance. Performance for July improved further with the health board reporting 88.8% against the four-hour target and 99.3% against the 12 hour target.


In terms of emergency ambulance services, July data shows performance against the 15 minute handover target has improved to 86.6%. This is the best performance reported since November 2015. No ambulances were delayed over one hour at Cwm Taf hospitals for the second month in a row.


Financial Position


The Board received an update on the financial position to Month 4 (July 2016) which was forecasting a break even end of year position. However, this can only be achieved by utilising slippage money and non-recurring savings. Challenges remain with the Board needing to find significant additional recurring savings.


A full report of performance over the last quarter can be found here


Cwm Taf Board meetings go ‘paperless’


Board meetings went officially ‘paperless’ this week with Board Members having electronic access to their papers through digital technology. In one Board session alone nearly 22,000 sheets of paper were saved, which is a great step forward as a ‘green’ organisation! The digital solution will also be used for Board sub-Committees going forward.

Spread the love
Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *