Cwm Taf University Health Board held its last Board meeting before the Bridgend boundary change on March 28th 2019 at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This bulletin sets out the key messages from the meeting but you can read the full board papers on our website. If you have any queries or questions about the issues discussed please do not hesitate to contact the communications team at [email protected]


Board gets ready for new era as Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board goes live!

Board members met for the last time as Cwm Taf UHB on March 28th, just days before responsibility for healthcare provision in Bridgend transfers to the health board.

From April 1st 2019 Cwm Taf University Health Board changes its name to Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB as it takes responsibility for providing healthcare services for the people in the Bridgend County Borough area.

Cwm Taf already provides healthcare services to the populations of Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil, but the boundary change means the health board will now serve a population of 450,000 and employ 13,500 staff.

The change in boundary is an administrative change and will not affect the way patient care is delivered. No services are being reduced or lost and patients will continue to travel to the same place as they do now to receive their care.

In June 2018 the Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething announced that responsibility for providing healthcare to the Bridgend population would transfer from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg UHB to Cwm Taf UHB in order to strengthen partnerships arrangements for Bridgend County Borough Council.

To reflect the change in geographical area ABMU health board will also change its name to Swansea Bay University Health Board.

You can find out more about the boundary change in our list of FAQs here.

Health Board congratulates staff for 40 + years NHS service at annual recognition event

An  ‘Afternoon Tea’ was held on March 15th in Ysbyty Cwm Cynon for staff who have achieved 40+ years’ service to the NHS.  The event saw staff from across the health board get together to celebrate their achievement with family members, friends and colleagues.

Nine hundred and nine years was the total of NHS service achieved by twenty-two staff who attended this year’s long service event. The health board has 67 eligible staff who have achieved 40+ years’ service, proving that 1978/79 were popular years for people to join the NHS. If all staff had attended, the number of years of experience in the room would have been a staggering 2,719!

Welsh Government approves Health Board plan for sixth consecutive year

Board members welcomed the news that Welsh Government had once again approved the health board’s three year ‘Integrated Medium Term Plan’.

The health board has successfully developed and delivered against its IMTP for a number of years; each year building on the success of the previous. The main challenge for the next three years will be maintaining and further improving quality and performance, whilst incorporating the population health needs of Bridgend residents into commissioning plans.

The updated NHS Planning Framework for 2019/20 requires Health Boards and NHS Trusts to demonstrate a whole systems approach to the provision of Health and Social Care. Over the next three years the health board’s priorities will therefore include:

  • Integration of services across the new Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board boundary
  • A further strengthening of the focus on population health and the well-being of future generations;
  • Working across the whole of the new Cwm Taf to finalise the UHB’s 10 year Clinical Services Strategy;
  • Digitisation;
  • Delivering on the Regional Partnership Board transformation ambition and further aligning Primary Care Clusters;
  • Taking a strengthened workforce and OD approach across the whole of the new organisation, including innovation in recruitment, retention, career development and further building delivery capacity within the organisation;
  • More sophisticated demand and capacity plans, and robust monitoring of their delivery

New Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Care to join health board on April 1st

A new Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Greg Dix will join Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board from April 1st. Originally from South Wales, Mr Dix trained as a nurse in Cardiff, holding many senior clinical positions before moving across to the South West of England where his most recent role has been as Director of Nursing in Plymouth.

Angela Hopkins, the interim Director of Nursing and Midwifery, will be staying with the health board as a new Director for Quality Improvement.

Consultant led maternity and neonatal services move successfully to Prince Charles Hospital

Board members thanked all staff involved in the move of obstetric and neonatal services from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant last month to new facilities in Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

The move follows the outcome of the South Wales Programme which consolidates consultant-led maternity services on one site. The Royal Glamorgan Hospital will still provide maternity services to low risk women in the form of a Freestanding Midwifery Unit.

Inpatient paediatric services will move from the Royal Glamorgan to Prince Charles Hospital on June 1st this year. The changes mean that children who are very ill or seriously injured will need to be taken to another hospital.

Only children with minor injuries can be seen at A&E at Royal Glamorgan Hospital from June 1st and a Paediatric Assessment Unit will also be set up which will accept GP referrals until 8pm.

Children who need to stay in hospital overnight will be also transferred to the most appropriate hospital.

Health Board making progress in addressing ‘Enhanced Monitoring’ issues

Following the announcement earlier this year that the health board would be given “enhanced monitoring” status, Board members were informed that good progress is being made in addressing many of the concerns identified.

The Board has recognised and fully accepted the need for strengthened assurance in a number of important areas and are determined to work with Welsh Government officials and regulatory bodies to ensure that the organisation meets the assurance requirements on the quality governance issues raised.

The Board re-iterated that the top priority remains patient care and safety and has taken immediate action to address the issues identified by Welsh Government, the Wales Audit Office and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales including:

  • IR(ME)R (Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations) compliance
  • Pathology services following a Human Tissue Authority inspection;
  • Quality governance arrangements as set out in the Wales Audit Office’s (WAO) recent Structured Assessment work;
  • The quality of Serious Incident (SI) reporting;
  • The health board’s response to actions contained within HIW inspection reports
  • Compliance with the Nurse Staffing Levels (Wales) Act and

Maternity services within the health board have also been subject to an external review by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives. The formal report will be published later this month and the health board has already responded to some immediate concerns by putting in place a range of actions following the three day visit.

The Board was also informed that 42 out of 43 previously identified cases that had resulted in an adverse outcome, and may not have been properly investigated, have now been reviewed and the findings will be shared with the families as soon as possible.

New Prince Charles Hospital information pod launched to support people affected by cancer

People with cancer will now be able to access the advice and support they need, following the launch of a new Macmillan information pod at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr.

Officially launched with the help of local celebrity Roy Noble OBE, the pod is part of a £250,000 investment into a new cancer information and support service for people affected by cancer in the Health Board area.

The investment from Macmillan Wales covers a new information pod in the main reception of Prince Charles Hospital, as well as 5 new information points located across the Royal Glamorgan, Ysbyty Cwm Cynon and Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda hospital sites.

The investment will also make sure that a highly-trained cancer information specialist will be on hand for anyone needing advice and support following a cancer diagnosis. The launch of the new pod means that Macmillan Cancer Support has invested well over £3.5 million into funding new cancer information and support services at hospital sites across Wales since 2007.

Care home diabetes project improves outcomes for residents

Care home staff have improved their knowledge and confidence in managing people living with diabetes in a project run in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.

A collaboration between the nutrition and dietetics department and the diabetes nursing team in Cwm Taf set up education sessions for care staff and checked the impact these had on residents with diabetes six months later.

Community diabetes specialist nurses and diabetes specialist dietitians have traditionally provided diabetes education sessions to care home staff on an ad hoc basis. But a joint education service was developed that could be delivered within the care homes, as requests for support had been increasing.

Evaluation of the project found that most residents with poor glycaemic control and those who were obese improved six months after the education sessions. Confidence of staff to support residents with their dietary management and to care for a resident with diabetes improved by 31% and 29% respectively.

Diabetes knowledge improved by 28% after education and 80% of staff

intended to change their practice as a result. The research and findings will now be presented at the Diabetes UK Professional conference in Liverpool in March.

Health Board performance against national targets

Emergency Ambulance Services

The performance for emergency ambulance services against the 15 minute handover target was 90.7%, compared to 89.2% in January. The February performance for emergency ambulance services over one hour was 99.8% (January 99.9%). Performance against the Red Ambulance target continued to improve during January increasing to 76% from 72% in December and higher than the All Wales average of 71.8%.

A&E waits

Health Board performance for the 4 hour target for February improved to 83.1% from 80.6% in January. Individual hospital performance was 80.5% at Prince Charles Hospital (PCH) and 82.8% at Royal Glamorgan Hospital (RGH).

Referral to Treatment times

The Referral to Treatment Times (RTT) 36 week position for February has deteriorated to 440 patients waiting over 36 weeks in total, though only 295 of the cases are awaiting treatment within the UHB, with a further 145 waiting with outsourced providers. The number of patients to be treated before year end to deliver the 36 week target was 22 more than last year, with three weeks remaining.

Diagnostic Waits

The figure for February is 431 patients waiting over 8 weeks, having been 613 in January. The most improved performance was seen in Endoscopy from 218 in January to 106 in February

Mental Health

Part 1(a) of the Mental Health Measure relating to assessment within 28 days has reduced further to 44% in January, well below the 80% target, due to high demand and staffing issues. Additional clinics have been set up for the remainder of the year including evenings and weekends to bring the waits down for patients.

All data can be found in the Board papers here as part of the Performance Dashboard

Year-end financial position

The Health Board’s plan for the current financial year is breakeven which has been forecast throughout the year. The Health Board has been in financial balance since its establishment in 2009, and has had its plans approved in each year since the 3 year planning process was instigated in 2014.

CEO Allison Williams said: “We were very pleased to hear yesterday that our 3-year plan for the period 2019-2022 has been approved by the Welsh Government. Being in a balanced financial position helps us to address the challenges that all Health Boards face to meet the needs of an ageing and growing population.”

News from the Board!