Cwm Taf University Health Board held its latest Board meeting on Wednesday May 3rd at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This bulletin contains a summary of the main issues but the full Board papers can be found here.

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Local college students get involved in Cwm Taf Innovation conference

Cwm Taf’s second Innovation Conference was held last month at Keir Hardie University Health Park showcasing some of the new and creative work that is driving improvements to patient care across the organisation. One of the highlights was the presentation from students at Merthyr Tydfil College who presented their idea for an NHS recruitment app, following close working between the college and the health board in generating interest in careers in Cwm Taf.

Attendees included staff from the health board, University partners, business and Welsh Government who also heard about Cwm Taf’s work on 3D printing for facial reconstruction; physiotherapy rehabilitation; innovations in digital technology, and the assessment centres for paediatrics and A&E.

Health Board meets key waiting times targets

Key health board operational staff were formally thanked by the Board for their efforts in helping to meet Referral to Treatment waiting times in a challenging climate.

While there remains work to be done in reducing waits, the Health Board achieved an end of year position of zero patients waiting over 36 weeks, and 91.9% of patients over 26 weeks treated. This positive achievement reflects the significant efforts of the Directorate teams in balancing the demand for planned and emergency care in recent months despite winter pressures.

The end of year position for Diagnostic and Therapies was 92, a significant reduction of 669 patients. There were no end of year breaches within Therapies. Radiology also achieved no breaches, with previous concerns around MR, CT and non-obstetric ultrasound having been mitigated.

Intense additional work at the end of year, alongside daily scrutiny has meant that on 31st March 2017, the CAMHS network met the 4 week target for generic mental health and 26 week target for Neuro-developmental disorders.

Three year Plan approved by Board

The final version of the health board’s Integrated Medium Term Plan (IMTP 2017-20) was formally approved by the Board and is now awaiting approval by the Cabinet Secretary of the Welsh Government. The final version of the refreshed IMTP includes a revised financial plan, and has been updated to reflect the full year assessment of underlying service improvement opportunities and cost pressures.

Through the Board assurance and scrutiny process, Board Members have participated and contributed to the development of the Plan. In addition, both the Executive Board and the Integrated Planning Group have played a key role in the development of the Plan and will continue to support its delivery.

District nurses use digital technology to speed up treatment

Chromebooks have now been rolled out to the whole of Cwm Taf University Health Board (UHB) District Nursing teams. All district nurses are now using devices as part of their normal daily duties which allow them easier access to clinical systems and patient records ‘on the go’ and speed up treatment without having to return to the office between visits.

The District Nursing Mobile Working in the Community project has been running since May 2015 following a successful bid for Welsh Government funding from the Health Technology and Telehealth Fund and Invest 2 Save Fund.

Both the Welsh Government grant funded projects have now come to an end with final evaluation reports submitted to Welsh Government in March of this year. This activity is now a core operational activity of Cwm Taf’s Primary Care and Localities directorate.

Children’s Oral Health campaign

A new initiative ‘Baby Teeth DO Matter’ had a successful launch in Prince Charles and Royal Glamorgan Hospitals last month to raise awareness of the oral health of young children in the Cwm Taf region.

The `Baby Teeth DO Matter’ is a pilot project aimed at identifying children 0-5 years old who have not attended a dentist in the last two years. The service will be delivered by dentists who will visit a number of venues in the community, including GP practices, to speak to patients about simple steps to look after their baby’s teeth and gums. The pilot will run in the Merthyr Tydfil locality in the first instance and is being supported by the health board’s communication team to raise awareness among local families.

Dementia Hub making good progress in Rhondda

Work to develop Ysbyty George Thomas in Treorchy into a Dementia and Frailty Hub is now underway through the Valley LIFE project board that includes Rhondda Cynon Taf council. Merthyr Tydfil council are also interested in developing a similar model in their region in parallel to the Ysbyty George Thomas development.

The increase in outreach practitioners has meant that St David’s Ward has been able to accommodate more elderly patients with depression/anxiety with no adverse effects on capacity.

The Health Board’s performance against the Mental Health Measure also continues to develop positively. The March data demonstrates that our performance exceeds the compliance target of 80% for Part 1(a) Assessment (85%) and Part 1(b) Treatment (87.8%). In relation to Part 2 (Care and Treatment Planning) we remain compliant with the target of 90% since August last year and for March our performance is 93.3%.

There remains some ‘hotspots’ such as CAMHS and Older Persons Mental Health (OPMH) social worker teams and we continue to implement improvement plans in these areas.

GP Out of Hours service continues to strengthen

In the eighteen months since the GP Out of Hours service re-design was implemented, there has been a marked improvement in GP recruitment and rosters, creating a more stable and sustainable service. GPs are reporting an improved working experience due to the co-located model, working closer with A&E colleagues, and easier transfer of patients between services when diagnostics or specialist assessment are required.

Patients have also reported high levels of patient satisfaction and the service has not seen an increase in complaints since the re-design was launched. This has all taken place during a period when the service has seen higher levels of patient demand. The Board approved the recommendation that the current configuration of service should be adopted in order to support the service to develop further.

Chair and Board Member Appointments

Interviews for a new Chair of Cwm Taf University Health Board will take place in early May 2017 and advertisements for replacement Independent Members from 1 October 2017 for Community, Legal and Finance are also due to be advertised by the Welsh Government.

Members will be aware that Keiron Montague, who is currently the elected Local Authority representative on the Board stepped down on May 4th leaving an additional elected representative vacancy which will also be advertised. Keiron will continue on the Board as an ex officio Associate Board Member, whilst the above appointment processes are progressed.

ITV Wales highlights innovation at Keir Hardie University Health Park

The first integrated health park in Wales, based in Merthyr Tydfil featured on ITV Wales as part of its coverage of Valleys Week, raising the profile across Wales of community re-ablement and therapy services at the facility.

It was a good opportunity to highlight the healthcare innovation going on in the heart of the Valleys and raise the profile of the health park model where health and social care services are based under one roof.

Staff in the neuro-physiotherapy and speech and language departments featured in the programme which was aired live on the evening news.

Launch of Stay Well @Home Service in Cwm Taf

The Cwm Taf Social Services and Well-Being Partnership has developed plans for a new and ambitious Stay Well @Home Service.

The new service aims to improve communication and performance across health and social care services to help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, reduce waits for patients following treatment and ensure patients can return home or to a community setting as swiftly as possible. The new service will include hospital based teams at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant and Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil comprising Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Social Workers and Assistant Therapy Practitioners. The new Stay Well @Home Service will operate from 8am until 8pm seven days a week from Monday 3rd April 2017 at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, and on a phased basis from Prince Charles Hospital.

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