Fresh plea for responsible use of 999 over Christmas period

Today (16 December), Cwm Taf Morgannwg in partnership with British Red Cross, launch a new patient service from the Emergency Departments (EDs) at the Royal Glamorgan hospital and Prince Charles hospital.

Should you need to visit one of our Emergency Departments (EDs) at these hospitals this winter season, then you will be welcomed by a new team of British Red Cross workers in our EDs.

Together, we will be making sure you have the best hospital experience possible; from the point of you first arriving at reception, during any treatment and through to your discharge.

British Red Cross staff will not be attending to any patient clinical needs – that will remain the exclusive responsibility of our trained nursing professionals, but they will be working very closely with staff in the ED to prioritise any patients’ (pastoral care) needs. That could mean sitting with patients and family members while they wait, ensuring patients are hydrated, keeping patients warm with blankets, and directing family members to loved ones.

However, the service does not end there. It will also involve resettling patients in their homes once discharged from hospital. A vehicle will remain onsite to take patients home, rather than them waiting for an ambulance (if requested by the ward manager). In this instance, the driver will ensure that the patient is comfortable and resettled at home, which could include ensuring that food and heating is available, as well as making any carer arrangements.

John Palmer, Chief Operating Officer, Cwm Taf Morgannwg said:

“Winter creates particular pressures on our ED system as we see admissions rise and subsequently increased service pressures. It is imperative that we are as prepared as we possibly can be. For all patients waiting to be treated in our Emergency Departments over the winter months, our aim is to ensure that we provide the best possible healthcare experience, this begins when our patients first arrive at reception until they leave for home.

Our winter planning involves us working closely and successfully with our statutory partners; Welsh Ambulance Services Trust, other Health Boards and local authorities but it also means reaching out to a wide range of voluntary sector and community partners such as British Red Cross. We are delighted to welcome the team into our Emergency Departments and look forward to receiving feedback of this crucial service by our visiting patients.”

Claire Cooper, Service Manager British Red Cross said:

“We are extremely pleased to launch this service in two new hospitals. Red Cross staff and volunteers are there for reassurance and support. In the Emergency Department, we work closely with NHS staff to prioritise patients’ pastoral care needs.

After a patient has been discharged, we will take them home and help them to settle in by putting the heating on, making them a cup of tea, contacting a relative or neighbour. But most importantly, we have time to spend with people, listening to their concerns, spotting problems and empowering them to find the right support.”

The service will be operating out of the EDs 7 days a week, 10 hours per day.

British Red Cross have been commissioned by Welsh Government and the Joint Collaborative Commissioning Unit to pilot this service across Welsh hospitals until March 2020.

Including Royal Glamorgan hospital and Prince Charles hospital, the service is now operating in 11 Welsh hospitals and has helped more than 100,000 people in the past year with a patient feedback showing 100% of patients were satisfied with the service and 97% would recommend it to others.

It has been operating at Princess of Wales, the third hospital in Cwm Taf Morgannwg since December 2018.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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