Cwm Taf University Health Board celebrates success at the NHS Wales Awards!

Cwm Taf University Health Board is celebrating today (Friday 21 September 2018) after winning an NHS Wales Award at the 11th anniversary of the awards.

The “Stay Well @Home” project won the Working Seamlessly Across Organisations award, supported by the Welsh NHS Confederation, and the Outstanding Contribution to Prudent Healthcare award.

Emma Ralph, Stay Well @Home team manager, said: “I am extremely proud to have represented Stay Well @Home at last night’s NHS Wales Awards.

“It is an absolute privilege and pleasure to work as part of the service and winning the awards just goes to show what fabulous and hard-working staff we have across all the teams.  Well done everyone – well deserved.”

The service is a collaborative project between Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil county borough councils and the health board.

It aims to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and ensure timely discharge for those people that require admission to hospital.

The team consists of a multidisciplinary hospital based team made up of social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and therapy technicians within Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles Hospitals. The service operates seven days a week between 8am and 8pm and is supported by a range of community based responses across health and social care provision.

Councillor David Hughes, Cabinet Member for Social Services at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, said:  “I am extremely pleased that the Stay Well @Home service which has been developed as a regional partnership between Merthyr Tydfil CBC, Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC and Cwm Taf UHB has been recognised through the NHS Awards 2018 winning both the category of Working Seamlessly Across Organisations and the Outstanding Contribution to Prudent Health Care awards.

“It is an excellent example of how working together can improve the wellbeing outcomes of the people that we support.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, who attended the ceremony, said: “The NHS Wales Awards are a national showcase for excellence and celebrate best practice in improving patient care across Wales. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other and recognise the inspiring innovation of our NHS staff.

“Every finalist should be proud to be shortlisted for an award. I am humbled to see such passion and dedication to improving services provided across Wales. This is even more important and of even greater value with the increasing challenges that we face across our health and social care system.”

Cllr Geraint Hopkins, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Welsh Language, added: “We are proud that our innovative partnership working with Cwm Taf UHB and Merthyr Tydfil CBC has secured such a prestigious award.

“The success of Stay Well @Home is as a result of the clear commitment of the partner agencies and the exceptional service delivered by staff from all three organisations in the hospital and community based teams.

“The biggest reward for us is to know that hundreds of patients have avoided either a hospital admission or a lengthy stay on a ward as a result of multi-agency work to deliver health and social care services.”

Alyson Davies, Assistant Director of Therapies and Health Sciences at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “Winning the award for working seamlessly across organisations and receiving recognition from peers was so exciting and gratifying but being awarded the prize for outstanding contribution to prudent healthcare took us totally by surprise – a few tears of joy were shed last night!”

The NHS Wales Awards are organised by 1000 Lives Improvement, the national improvement service for NHS Wales delivered by Public Health Wales. The Awards were launched in 2008 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NHS and recognise and promote good practice across Wales.

Entries were received from a range of organisations, revealing a high standard of innovative and diverse work that is transforming patient care across Wales.


In Cwm Taf, there are over 53,000 people over the age of 65 and over 23,000 people over 75. Challenges managing “flow” at A&E departments and people waiting significant times to access available beds are common place issues, due to very limited alternative options for community support at home. This places increased pressure on the availability of beds at the two acute hospital sites in Cwm Taf, which have led to increased transfer rates to Community Hospitals with delays in being discharged home, particularly for those aged 65+.

As a result of an extended period of ‘winter pressures’ during 2015/2016, there was a commitment from Cwm Taf UHB, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil Borough Councils to work together to do something different.

A multiagency project group was established and evidence gathered to inform the project. A model was developed to provide the bridge between the community and hospital, supporting clinicians to make different decisions and changing the culture to a default position of discharge home/community.

A multidisciplinary hospital-based team was established – the Stay Well @Home (SW@H) Team. Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Therapy Technicians were recruited and all trained to be a “trusted assessor” with a single line management structure.

The new SW@H hospital team promotes a “fit to assess model” with the aim for patients to be referred on arrival at A&E. An assessment is undertaken, and the trusted assessor agrees the outcomes with the individual and can then commission a range of tailored community responses.

The SW@H annual data is currently being validated, however early reports demonstrate measurable improvement for elderly patients and a reduction in the numbers of patients being placed on the transfer list for community hospitals.

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