News from the Board Cwm Taf University Health Board April 2018

Cwm Taf University Health Board held its latest Board meeting on March 29th at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This bulletin sets out the key messages from the meeting about healthcare provision in Cwm Taf.

You can read the full Board papers 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 staff praised for ‘extraordinary’ efforts during severe weather
Board members expressed their thanks and gratitude to staff across the health board, in the community and in social care for their efforts and commitment in caring for their patients during the snow earlier this month.

 Volunteer 4×4 drivers and mountain rescue teams were also praised for their significant contribution to getting staff into work safely, without whom services could not have run.

Chief Executive Allison Williams said: “I continue to be both amazed and humbled by the extent of the effort many of our staff, including independent contractor staff, go to in order to maintain high-quality services to our patients. I would wish to place on record, the appreciation of the Board for the excellent work and commitment to maintaining safe high-quality care to our patients.”

Cwm Taf, like other health boards in Wales, continues to manage significant demand within the emergency care system but is making every effort to respond quickly and provide the best possible care to all its patients.

Attendance levels in February 2018 reached 10,646 across all sites, over 900 more than in February 2017. This equates to seeing 32 more people in A&E every day in February this year compared to the same time last year.

Whilst overall compliance is 2% lower than in February 2017, with 8,551 patients treated within 4 hours in February 2018 compared to 8,028 in February 2017 Board members praised staff across the care spectrum, including external partners, who responded so well to the additional number of patients presenting at A&E.

More detailed performance data for the health board for cancer waits, referral to treatment time and ambulance handovers can be found here     

Major Trauma Network approved 

Following the recommendations of an independent clinical panel and public consultation across Wales, Board members have approved the establishment of a major trauma network for South and West Wales and South Powys.  It will now work with neighbouring Health Boards and the Community Health Council to progress implementation plans.

As part of the network a Major Trauma Centre will be located at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff while Morriston Hospital in Swansea will become a large trauma unit with a lead role in the network.

‘Major Trauma’ is defined as multiple, serious injuries that could result in disability or death. These might include serious head injuries, severe gunshot wounds or multiple injuries caused by road traffic accidents. It is the leading cause of death in all groups under 45 years of age and a significant cause of short- and long-term morbidity.

There is a significant body of evidence that demonstrates that patients who suffer a major trauma and are treated within a major trauma network generally have better outcomes and a greater chance of survival.

Board approves Cwm Taf’s three year Plan
The Director of Planning and Performance / Deputy Chief Executive, with support from the ‘Interim’ Director of Finance and Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, presented key areas of the Integrated Medium Term Plan for 2018-21, which was approved by the Board before its submission to Welsh Government.

Cwm Taf is the only Health Board in Wales to have had an approved plan for four successive years. Board members were asked to recognise the significant challenges, opportunities and risks contained within it and that related discussions will continue with Welsh Government officials.


Paediatric, Neonatal and Obstetric Services
Later this summer the multi-million-pound expansion of maternity and neonatal facilities at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil will be completed and the health board will be ready to implement some of the key changes set out in the South Wales Programme.

The South Wales Programme (SWP), a major public consultation exercise spanning four health board areas, concluded that consultant-led maternity and inpatient children’s services would in the future need to be provided at fewer hospitals across South Wales to ensure they could continue for the future, and provide the best possible care for patients.

Prince Charles Hospital was identified as one of five hospitals that would continue to provide these specialist services but it means that consultant-led maternity and inpatient children’s services will no longer be delivered from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital from late Summer 2018.

This does not mean that all maternity and children’s services will be removed from Royal Glamorgan Hospital. The hospital will still provide a Midwife-led birthing centre, open 24 hours, and a Paediatric Assessment Unit which will be open from 8am until 10pm.  To accommodate the changes, a major expansion is underway at Prince Charles Hospital and is due for completion later in 2018. More than £6m has been invested to increase the size of the neonatal unit to 19 cots, redevelop the obstetric labour ward, refurbish the birthing rooms, and provide two birthing pools.

In the meantime, however, it is business as usual at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

Cwm Taf Chief Executive Allison Williams will be taking part in a live Facebook Q&A session on Thursday, April 12th from 6pm to answer questions about the service changes and a public meeting will also be hosted by the health board on April 17th in Llantrisant to explain the new model. More information will be posted shortly on our website and social media channels.


Cwm Taf Well-Being Plan 2018-2023
A five year plan to develop more job and training opportunities; tackle substance misuse and addiction, as well as improve the mental health of young people has been launched by a collective of public sector organisations across Cwm Taf including the health board.

The Cwm Taf ‘Public Services Board’ is made up of public and voluntary sector organisations right across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf including the Health Board, local authorities, police, fire service, Natural Resources Wales and probation service. The PSB is a product of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act passed by the National Assembly and is a revolution in the way local public services are being planned and delivered for the future.

The aim is to shift the focus from simply reacting as individual organisations to complex social problems to addressing them together.

The Wellbeing Plan which will be published in May uses a ‘place-based approach’ where all partners will work together more effectively with residents to identify issues, priorities and potential solutions in targeted areas.

New Velindre Cancer Centre 
The Health Board considered the Outline Business Case (OBC) to create the new Velindre Cancer Centre, in Whitchurch close to the current facilities.  In considering the proposal, the Board agreed on a number of points to feedback to the Trust in providing commissioner support for the new facility, which patients of Cwm Taf UHB will continue to access.

Bridgend Local Government boundary change proposal
The Welsh Government consultation on proposals to re-align the Bridgend local authority boundary within the footprint of the Cwm Taf University Health board area ended on March 7th 2018 and a decision is now awaited.

 This follows the publication of the White Paper in January 2017 Reforming Local Government: Resilient and Renewed which looked at ways of strengthening local government’s ability to work together to meet the challenges it and other public services face across Wales.

A scoping exercise has been taking place between Cwm Taf and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health boards to prepare for any change in the boundary affecting health services.  Any updates from Welsh Government will be published on our website cwmtaf.wales as soon as they are available.

Mental health team take an innovative approach to patient recovery
An innovative team of health professionals is supporting patients receiving mental health treatment in the hospital by providing a range of interventions to help them with their recovery.

The therapeutic care team at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital devises and runs a range of sessions which encourage individuals to engage in their recovery journey.

The sessions can include individual psychological therapies or group sessions which look at goal setting and accountability, cooking on a budget, gardening and encouraging creativity.

There is also a focus on exercise and moving with sessions such as gentle circuits, a successful walking group and 1-1 gym sessions. The team is made up of a range of health professionals including four occupational therapy staff, a therapeutic nurse, a psychotherapist and an exercise therapist, with each providing different skills to support individuals.

Activities such as exercise and creative arts have been shown to help improve mental health and the team’s programme is devised around the needs and interests of patients.  While there are certain courses which are always delivered, if there are several patients with a particular interest and the team has the skills to deliver such sessions, these will be added to the programme.

Cwm Taf staff lead development of new diabetes standard for NHS Wales
A new standard for all diabetes services in Wales will help young people as they leave paediatric services and start to receive care in the adult diabetes service.

The initiative promotes best practice from around Wales to ensure all young people receive a tailored ‘transition’ of care. Staff from Cwm Taf University Health Board played an important part in the creation of the All-Wales Standard for People with Diabetes Moving from Paediatric to Adult Services in NHS Wales.

The young adults’ clinic at Prince Charles Hospital has been included in the standard as an exemplary service for other health boards to learn from after it was recently reorganised by the paediatric and adult diabetes teams.

Dr Julia Platts, Clinical Lead for Diabetes in Wales, said: “This standard is the product of research into good practice in Wales – learning from specialist clinicians, across all disciplines, in both paediatric and adult services.”

Board members pay tribute to Independent member Gaynor Jones
Board members thanked Mrs Gaynor Jones, Independent Member (Staff side), for her passion and commitment to Cwm Taf as her maximum eight-year term draws to a close in April.

Gaynor has played a key and important role as a corporate member of the Health Board, balancing her important Board role with her support for staff.

The Welsh Government has placed an advert for a replacement staff side Independent Member and a Third Sector Member (following Maria Thomas’ appointment to Vice Chair of the Board) and interviews are scheduled for both posts towards the end of April.

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