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Cwm Taf University Health Board news

Cwm Taf Health Board

Cwm Taf University Health Board held its latest public board meeting on March 5, 2014 at Merthyr Tydfil Rugby Club.
This briefing sets out the key areas of discussion and aims to ensure everyone is kept up to date with what’s happening in Cwm Taf.

The full board papers for the March meeting are available here on link


South Wales Programme

On 13 February the five health boards which are part of the South Wales Programme held simultaneous special board meetings in public to discuss the recommendations put forward by the South Wales Programme Board.

Of the recommendations put forward, Cwm Taf fully supported 8 out of 10 of the recommendations and partially supported 2. All other health boards supported the recommendations in full.

Each of the health boards have since submitted written responses to the South Wales Programme Board outlining the decisions made by their respective boards. The written responses were formally received at a South Wales Programme Board meeting on 4 March.

The South Wales Programme Board is now in the process of responding individually to each health board and these responses will be received at the health boards’ next board meetings.

Allison Williams, chief executive at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: "The fundamental issue for us is our duty to provide safe and sustainable services for our community and we remain in continued positive dialogue with the programme board."

"We fully recognise that change is difficult but it is important that we now find a way to bring to a close this phase of the work and move to implementing the new and exciting models of care for our community.

“Cwm Taf continues to work positively with colleagues in neighbouring health boards to secure agreement on the way forward and we are optimistic that we will be able to share the detail of the next steps very shortly.”

For more information about the South Wales Programme click here on link


3 year integrated plan 2014-2017

The Board noted the excellent work being progressed to develop and strengthen its 3 year plan, which will be submitted to Welsh Government towards the end of this month following Chair’s action to approve. The Board will also, later this month, receive feedback from Welsh Government on its plan. The Board recognised the challenges and opportunities delivering the plan present and will hold a further workshop in April 2014 and consider the plan in its next scheduled Board meeting in May.

For more information about the 3 year integrated plan, contact Ruth Treharne, director of planning & performance or Paula Pearce in the planning team.

Quality of care

Cwm Taf approved its quality strategy which aims to ensure the delivery of safe and effective care whilst achieving excellent patient, user, carer and staff experience.

Improvement measures include:

The safety of treatment and care provided to patients
The effectiveness of treatment and care provided to patients
Achieving excellent patient experience of the treatment and care they receive
Achieving excellent staff experience

The strategy supported by the Board’s quality delivery plan, will also provide the metrics that help us demonstrate to our communities how we are improving and these will help better inform and strengthen our Board reporting on patient experience.

The quality strategy in full is available here on link


Improving Quality Together

Improving Quality Together (IQT) was launched in March 2013 to give all staff the opportunity to learn quality improvement techniques and methodology to deliver even better care to patients.

To date, 363 and 45 members of staff have achieved bronze and silver levels respectively. By spring our aim is to achieve 25% of staff having been trained with IQT skills.

Chris White, chief operating officer at Cwm Taf University Health Board, said: "The challenge for us will be getting 25% of our staff through the programme which equates to something in the region of 2000 members of staff.

"This is important because it will improve the quality of care we provide to our patients."

Claire Bevan, assistant director of quality improvement and clinical governance said: “By listening to our patients, carers and our staff we are learning more about what actually makes a difference with delivery of safe and effective care. By focusing on patient outcomes we can accelerate the transformation of services.”

The full “Improving Quality Together” framework for Cwm Taf University Health board is available here on link



The health board started the year with a financial challenge of £40.5m. To date it has identified savings for approximately half this amount and had been forecasting an end-of-year deficit of £20.8m.

During November 2013, Welsh Government confirmed additional non-recurring funding for NHS Wales of which Cwm Taf’s share was £16.86m, some of which had already been assumed within the health board’s financial plans.

The Welsh Government has said it expects Cwm Taf to do everything possible to deliver a year-end break-even position for 2013-14; at the very worst, Cwm Taf must deliver a deficit no worse than £3.9m.

As of January 2014, Cwm Taf reported a forecast deficit of £4.5m to Welsh Government which represents a £3.6m improvement from the planned deficit of £8.1m.

The health board must therefore continue the hard work to identify a further £0.6m savings to enable it to meet the financial target set for the end of March 2014 and be in a stronger position going forward into next year, an essential pre requisite for our 3 year integrated plan.

The month 10 finance report is available here.


The integrated performance dashboard contained in this month’s board papers brings together indicators and targets related to the health board’s core business, including quality, performance, finance and workforce. Some highlights include:

Unscheduled care – performance against the four-hour A&E target has improved between December (91.4%) and January (91.58%); improvements in ambulance handover times at A&E also continues with 89% of patients handed over within 15 minutes.
Referral to treatment times – the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks has increased slightly however the number of patients waiting 36 weeks has decreased over the same period. Additional MRI capacity has been commissioned which has already positively impacted on the number of patients waiting at stage 2 and 3 in orthopaedics.
Cancer targets – the health board performance in this area has improved further this month, almost meeting the 98% 31-day target (achieving 97.5%). The health board exceeded the 62-day target of 95% by 0.7% (achieving 95.7%).

New indicators added to this month’s performance dashboard include:

Cardiology outpatient waiting list
Commissioning activity
Day case activity split by medical and surgical admissions

The full performance dashboard is available here on link


Older people’s mental health services

Following consideration of proposals at the January 2014 meeting of the Board a comprehensive engagement process commenced with patients, carers, the Community Health Council and other stakeholders regarding proposed changes to mental health services for older people. The engagement exercise concludes towards the end of March 2014, the outcome of which will be discussed with the Community Health Council and considered by the Board.

Fundamentals of Care - annual audit report 2013

The 2013 National Fundamentals of Care (FOC) audit was completed during 1st October and 30th November 2013. This involved asking patients about their experiences of care; asking staff about their experience of working within the health board and; observing delivery of care and the assessment of the operational application of the 12 FOC standards.

The results of the FOC audits provide patients, staff teams, Health
Boards/Trusts and Welsh Government with rich data to identify:

1. What we are doing well
2. What we need to do better
3. How we can improve the experience of patients and staff

The 2013 results for the 59 clinical areas audited across Cwm Taf
University Health Board demonstrated that the organisation:

scored over 85% across five of the twelve standards
identified areas for improvement across seven standards
has no areas of major concern

Operational Question Overall Summary RAG %
Std 1 Communication and Information 83%
Std 2 & 5 Respecting people and Relationships 80%
Std 3 Ensuring Safety 88%
Std 4 Promoting Independence 88%
Std 6 Rest & Sleep 65%
Std 7 Ensuring Comfort & Alleviating pain 66%
Std 8 Personal hygiene, appearance and foot care 71%
Std 9 Eating and Drinking 86%
Std 10 Oral Health & hygiene 91%
Std 11 Toileting needs 71%
Std 12 Preventing pressure sores 93%
Overall Health Board Score 83%

The Board considered and discussed the areas that required improvement and the associated action plan which will focus particular attention on Standard 6 (Rest and sleep), Standard 7 (Ensuring comfort and alleviating pain) and Standard 8 (Personal hygiene, appearance and foot care). Progress against these actions will be monitored by the Quality and Safety Committee and periodically reported through to Board

The full Fundamentals of Care – annual audit report 2013 is available here on link


Carers Champion Report

Mrs Maria Thomas, independent member and Board carers champion reported progress on the extensive work being progressed with carers and other statutory and third sector partners, most of which being under the carers measure. An annual report is being prepared detailing all the associated work and will be available later this month.

The full Carers measure champion report is available on link.


To sign up to receive Cwm Taf Health Board’s monthly e-magazine Your Healthcare and stay in touch with health service developments in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf, click here or scan the QR code.

If you have any queries about this board briefing please contact Paul Edmonds, assistant head of communications, at Cwm Taf University Health Board, on 01443 744 814 or email paul.edmonds@wales.nhs.uk
Follow us on Twitter @CwmTaf

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