Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board held its latest Board meeting on July 31st 2019 at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This news bulletin sets out the key messages about healthcare provision across Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Bridgend.
Specialist and advanced nurses who provide expert support within primary, community and secondary care join Annual General Meeting
The work of specialist and advanced nurses supporting primary, community and secondary care was showcased at this year’s Health Board AGM, which was held in Abercynon on July 31st.
The Primary Care and Community Resource Team consists of a range of specialist and advanced nursing services providing expertise in a wide range of disciplines including Respiratory, Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Lymphoedema, Bladder and Bowel Health, Tissue Viability, ENT, and Immunisation. The department also includes the Primary Care nursing service (Practice Nursing) and the Clinical Practice Educator service for Primary Care.
The specialist teams provide vital clinical support across a range of care settings, and are central to the training and education of health and social care professionals working in GP practices, Community Nursing services, and Community hospitals, as well as staff working in Care Homes and local authority staff. Some services also provide support across the acute hospital sites including Tissue Viability, Bladder and Bowel Health, Parkinson’s and the ENT nursing service.
Health Board’s ‘in-house’ leadership programme showcases new talent
Pictured from left to right are Elen Russell, Callum Monckton, Amy Williams and Victoria Jeynes
Four members of the Health Board’s pioneering ‘Graduate Growth’ programme were presented with their certificates of completion at the AGM, which took place on the day of the July Board meeting. ‘Graduate Growth’ is an in-house Graduate Leadership and Management programme designed to grow the next generation of management leaders within Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.
Participants are introduced to the skills needed for effective management and supported to develop personal and professional leadership skills.
Maternity services getting better, but improvement will be an ongoing process
Following the Royal Colleges’ report and subsequent placing of the Health Board’s maternity services into ‘special measures’ a significant amount of work has been done to improve the care of women and their babies. But Board members were told it was still early days and challenges remain in terms of staffing and some patient experiences.
The new Independent Maternity Oversight Panel, appointed by Welsh Government, has begun its work to scrutinise and support the Health Board to deliver its Improvement programme.
One of the key recommendations from the Royal Colleges’ report was to develop an effective governance framework for maternity services which is now in place to ensure proper oversight and scrutiny of the service. Regular meetings are taking place with staff to learn from incidents, and attendance at these has improved significantly in recent months.
The Maternity Services Liaison Committee has been relaunched which allows women and their families to feed back their experiences and requests for improvement back into the system.
Women in the maternity units are also now being regularly asked about their experiences and the Health Board is pleased to report that feedback has been excellent in the past two weeks, with no negative feedback.
The failings in maternity services outlined in the Joint Royal Colleges’ report and the accompanying patient experience report on April 30th this year have been the most difficult challenges ever encountered by the organisation. The Board acknowledged that there is a significant amount of work to be done to address the issues raised and to restore confidence in the health board, and that all the women and families affected would remain at the forefront of all improvement actions.
Health Board continues programme of sustained action and improvement as part of Targeted Intervention status
Following the escalation of the wider organisation into Targeted Intervention by Welsh Government as a result of concerns around Quality Governance, staff across the organisation at all levels are working hard to address the issues identified. Key progress includes the:
- Implementation of the Quality and Safety Framework
- Establishment of an Independent Maternity Oversight panel
- Action plan to meet Human Tissue Authority concerns completed and shortfalls addressed
- Additional resource provided to ensure compliance with the Nurse Staffing (Wales) Act
- Actions addressed in response to Ionising Radiation regulations compliance (ie policies regarding radiation exposure)
Other issues including the quality of serious incident reporting and the Health Board’s response to actions contained within inspection reports are also being addressed. Improving the wider organisational culture will form part of a large scale piece of work on values and behaviours which will begin in the autumn.
Carers’ Annual Report shows Cwm Taf’s commitment to young carers
The work of the health board in collaboration with local authority partners to support carers and raise their profile has been highlighted in the Carers’ Annual report which was published this week.
Key areas of work over the last 12 months have included the continued recruitment and support of Carers Champions; ensuring Caring Awareness is embedded into various departments and organisations, and the provision of Carer Aware training for staff across the public and third sector.
The sharing of best practice at an annual Carers Champion conference focussed on the needs of Young carers and Young Adult carers.
The Health Board, local authorities and third sector have committed to build on the work of the last year and further improve the support and information needed by carers.
Move of paediatric services from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to be postponed until 2020
The transfer of inpatient paediatric services from the Royal Glamorgan to Prince Charles Hospital has been delayed until 2020. The Health Board’s main priority in planning these moves has always been to ensure a safe and seamless transition, and further work is needed to ensure this takes place.
Part of the implementation of the South Wales Programme was that inpatient paediatric services currently delivered in both Prince Charles Hospital (PCH) and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital (RGH) would be consolidated into a new unit at PCH. At the RGH a new Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) would be established. These moves were due to take place in June 2019.
The key driver for the changes agreed in the South Wales Programme was the safety and sustainability of services as a consequence of staffing shortages in certain specialties. These are UK-wide issues and not unique to this area.
Many elements of the programme have already been implemented including the move of consultant-led maternity services from RGH to PCH earlier this year.
The staffing issues faced by the Health Board will not change in the foreseeable future and conversations will be taking place with a wide range of stakeholders in the coming months to implement action plans related to the remainder of the SWP including the changing role of A&E services at RGH and across the Health Board.
Primary school pupils spend time with older people at Health and Wellbeing Centre in Rhondda
Children from Treorchy Primary School have visited the Health and Wellbeing Centre in Treorchy to spend time with people living with dementia and their families.
The school pupils attended the weekly activities morning at the Centre, based in Ysbyty George Thomas, where they joined in with knitting, crafts, darts and indoor boules. The group, which meets every Tuesday morning, is designed to support individuals living with dementia and their carers by providing the opportunity to make friends, socialise and receive peer support.
The visit was organised by the team at the Centre as part of their work to involve the community in the care and support provided at Ysbyty George Thomas. The team felt that both the pupils and the group members would enjoy spending time together and learning from each other.
Hayley Cartwright, dementia advisor nurse, said: “It was fantastic to have the children visit our activities morning and see them interact so well with our regular group members and learning new skills. It’s really important that the Centre is part of the community and we were very grateful to the school for taking the time to visit us and to sing to the group. I know their visit brought a lot of joy to our clients and we’ll be looking to arrange more visits in the future.”
Health Board and local authority join forces to support older people
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and Bridgend County Borough Council have signed a partnership agreement to support more older people to remain independent and keep well at home.
The Overarching Partnership Agreement for Adult and Older People’s Services (Section 33 of the National Health Service (Wales) Act) allows for NHS bodies and local authorities to enter into prescribed arrangements around defined functions if the arrangements are likely to lead to an improvement in the way in which those functions are exercised.
The agreement includes a formal ‘pooled fund’ to ensure services are more joined-up for the benefit of patients. The aim is that more older people can be cared for at home to maximise their recovery, with shorter stays in hospital; fewer people being asked to consider long term residential or nursing home care, particularly in a crisis, and earlier diagnosis of dementia with rapid access to specialist support for those who need it.
A wide range of senior managers and clinical leads from both organisations have been engaged in the development of the Section 33 agreement along with support from legal services.