£1m funding has been awarded to develop an innovative psychiatric liaison service and acute assessment service at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
During a joint visit by Finance Minister, Jane Hutt and Health Minister, Mark Drakeford to the Mental Health Unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, it was announced that Cwm Taf University Health Board is to be awarded £1m from the Welsh Government’s Invest-to-Save Fund.
In making the announcement Finance Minister, Jane Hutt said: "Through Invest-to-Save, we are providing short-term funding to enable transformational change to happen in public services that will lead to long-term benefits."
An outcome of the recently concluded South Wales Programme was to recognise the Royal Glamorgan Hospital as a ‘beacon site’. This is a special status awarded to a small number of hospitals across the UK who have been formally identified as leading the way in developing new models of care that others can learn from.
Allison Williams, chief executive at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “We’re delighted to be awarded this funding from Welsh Government.
“The South Wales Programme has concluded and we’re in to the next phase. Our task now is to innovate and to do it quickly.
“This funding gives us opportunities to innovate with new models of care which will serve our communities better in the future and to be a beacon not only for the rest of NHS Wales but across the UK. “
£500,000 of funding will be used to establish a consultant-led psychiatric liaison service for people with mental health needs.
Dr Mark Winston, clinical director for adult mental health at Cwm Taf University Health board, said: “In Cwm Taf around one third of all inpatients have mental health problems, and they currently receive no service to meet their mental health needs while in an acute hospital.
“The psychiatric liaison service will provide evaluation and treatment of patients who present with physical symptoms but who also have psychiatric and emotional ones.
“This will help to improve both physical and mental health outcomes for patients.”
Talking about the new acute assessment service Dr Ruth Alcolado, clinical director for acute medicine and A&E at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: “Many of our patients require rapid assessment, investigation, diagnosis and follow up but not necessarily a hospital admission.”
“The availability of early assessment and senior decision making when patients arrive at hospital is widely recognised as being the most effective way to manage emergency pressures and ensure the patient is seen by the right person at the right time.”
“The new acute assessment service will help reduce the time people spend in hospital.”
Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, said: “Invest-to-Save funding is helping the Health Board to accelerate key elements of its three-year plan and to respond to the realities and opportunities of the South Wales Programme.
“The improvement initiatives being taken forward by Cwm Taf have potential across the whole of the NHS in Wales and I look to other Health Boards considering and possibly adopting similar approaches.”