Cwm Taf University Health Board has been awarded £1m funding from the Welsh Government to develop a psychiatric liaison service and acute assessment service at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
The money is being made available through the Invest-to-Save Fund which is intended to provide short-term funding to enable public services to make 'transformational change' that will lead to long-term benefits.
Following the South Wales Programme hospital reorganisation process the Royal Glamorgan Hospital was designated as a 'beacon site'. This status is awarded to 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. "
The psychiatric liaison service is intended to provide evaluation and treatment of patients who present with physical symptoms but who also have psychiatric and emotional problems. Patients often require rapid assessment, investigation, diagnosis and follow up but not necessarily a hospital admission.
Early assessment should ensure the patient is seen by the right person at the right time and help reduce the time people spend in hospital.
RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat Campaign Manager Karen Roberts said
"It is excellent news that this investment is coming to the Royal Glamorgan. Mental Health services have for too long been the Cinderella service and it is high time that more resources were put into this field.
"Prompt assessment is vital if patients are to receive the follow up care that they need and we hope that this will indeed lead to improved interventions and on-going treatment and support.
"However, residents in the area are still very angry about the loss of critical care services planned as a result of the South Wales Programme review. Whilst we welcome the fact that other key services are being developed at the Royal Glamorgan cynics may well be questioning the speed at which this is happening.
"Just a few short weeks after it was announced that Cwm Taf had capitulated to the demands of the South Wales Programme Board we have this injection of money for a new service. Some who have already questioned the consultation process may find this a little coincidental."