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Cwm Taf University Health Board News

Cwm Taf University Health Board held its latest Board meeting on November 29th 2018 at Ynysmeurig House in Abercynon. This bulletin provides a summary of the key messages from the meeting about healthcare provision in Cwm Taf. You can read the full Board papers here but if you have any queries or questions about the issues discussed please do not hesitate to contact the communications team at

‘Topping out’ ceremony at the new palliative care unit at Royal Glamorgan Hospital


In November, the last beam was placed on a new palliative care unit being built by Cwm Taf University Health Board and Macmillan Cancer Support – a year to the date since the turf was cut.

The “topping out” ceremony was held for the Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Unit, which is being built in partnership with the National Garden Scheme (NGS).

The eight-bed unit will provide inpatient, outpatient and palliative day care for people with incurable cancer and other conditions within the health board area of Rhondda and Taf Ely. Designed by architects who specialise in palliative care builds, the unit will give a comfortable and welcoming environment to people being cared for and their loved ones. Macmillan is donating £5m towards the unit – £2.5m of which has been donated generously by the National Garden Scheme – with the additional £2m being given to the health board by the Welsh Government through its All Wales Capital Programme.

New theatre planning system in Cwm Taf is cutting on the day cancellations and improving theatre productivity

Theatre utilisation has gone up and there has been a direct reduction in on the day cancellations since a new 6-week theatre planning system was introduced earlier this year.

The new theatre system – based on a model in the Royal London hospital – aims to improve operating theatre productivity; reduce on-the-day cancellations and delays, and improve the experience of patients.

By planning theatre lists on a six weekly cycle with a dedicated scheduling manager in both main hospitals, theatres are used far more productively with a potential saving of £1m each year. The system has been trialled in orthopaedics, which has seen a positive increase in utilisation and this process will be rolled out across all surgical specialities by the end of December.

The team behind the new initiative was shortlisted at the NHS Wales Planned Care Awards earlier this month as an example of a project that could be scaled up across NHS Wales.

Changes to maternity and children’s services at Royal Glamorgan Hospital

The move of all inpatient paediatric and obstetric services to Prince Charles Hospital, and the implementation of a Paediatric
Assessment Unit (PAU) and Free-Standing Midwifery Unit (FMU) at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital has been scheduled for the weekend of March 9th 2019.

Detailed planning to ensure the safe transfer of services is underway with the full engagement of relevant staff groups and service users.

The changes, which will take place on 9th March 2019, mean that if you are likely to need specialist medical care when you are in labour or if your baby should need specialist neonatal care then this will only be available in the Cwm Taf Health Board area from Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

However this does not mean that all maternity services are being taken away from the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. Maternity services will still be provided 24 hours a day at RGH but they will be provided by midwives, and not by doctors. Women can choose to have their baby in either RGH or PCH, but those who have a complicated pregnancy or need doctor-led care will need to deliver at Prince Charles Hospital.

An update has been provided to the recent round of public meetings and a dedicated page for the changes has been set up on our website where you can find more information

Bridgend boundary change update

From 1 April 2019, the responsibility for providing healthcare services for people in the Bridgend County Borough Council area will transfer from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University Health Board to Cwm Taf University Health Board (CTUHB).

A Joint Transition Board is overseeing the implementation of the boundary change and a number of legislative changes will be required to enact the transfer. No services will be reduced or lost and patients will continue to travel to the same place as they do now for their care.

The Joint Transition Board has also been in discussion with Welsh Government about the potential to change the names of ABM and Cwm Taf health boards to reflect the geographical changes of the boundary change. Following a recent survey of staff and the communities affected, the preferred option of ‘Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’ to replace Cwm Taf UHB, will now be submitted to the Cabinet Secretary for approval.

You can read all updates on the work being undertaken on the Bridgend boundary change on the dedicated website here in English and here in Welsh.

Specialist chest surgery in South Wales to be located at Morriston Hospital in Swansea

The recommendation that thoracic surgery services for South Wales are delivered from Morriston Hospital, Swansea was agreed by Board Members, conditional upon a detailed workforce model and medical rotas to provide 24/7 thoracic surgery cover to the Major Trauma Centre in Cardiff.

The recommendation from WHSSC follows extensive engagement with clinicians, public and community health councils as well as the findings from an Independent panel of experts.

Update on maternity services review

Board members were provided with an update on the progress of the internal retrospective review of serious incidents within the
Maternity Department (January 2016 to end September 2018) and assurance regarding the revised reporting systems and improvements that are now in place.

The Maternity Directorate has been working to complete the internal review of 43 cases, with the support of the Delivery Unit from
Welsh Government. Each review takes a considerable amount of time and involves the detailed scrutiny of clinical records.

At the time of the Board meeting 27 of the case reviews have been completed;14 cases are due for completion in the next few weeks and 2 case reviews are yet to commence.

The Health Board aims to complete all the maternity case reviews before the end of December. The updated information will be reported through the public Board meeting in January 2019 and will be available for further scrutiny by the external review to be conducted by the Royal Colleges of Obstetricians and Royal College of Midwives early in the new year.

There continues to be a proactive recruitment campaign and from February the maternity service will be at 90% compliance with its funded establishment.

Volunteers open first ‘Leg Club’ in Cwm Taf to prevent hospital visits and provide community support

Nursing staff in Cwm Taf are taking a wound clinic into the community as part of a new Leg Club in the Rhondda. The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation supports leg clubs around the UK with the aim of providing community-based treatment, and care for people of all age groups who suffer with leg-related problems.

Instead of travelling to a hospital clinic for an appointment to have wounds cleaned and dressed, members of the club are able to go along to the Waun Wen community centre in Trebanog every Wednesday morning. Nurses are on hand to provide treatment and advice but the club is run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers who organise fundraising events to pay for the room, refreshments and any other equipment that may be required.

No appointments are required and the members can drop in to chat
over a cup of tea or coffee while awaiting their treatment. The initiative is part of the Cwm Taf #YourLocalTeam campaign to highlight the range of services now available in the community.

Plans for an ambitious £4m primary and community care centre in Mountain Ash unveiled

The purpose built facility will become the modern home for the two local GP practices, Cynon Valley Medical Centre and Rhos House Surgery, as well as a range of services delivered by District Nurses and Health Visitors.

It will also be the site for the delivery of community, third sector and public health activities as well as a training centre.

The centre will form part of an overall network of service delivery, linked to the Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, neighbouring practices within the cluster of South Cynon and the new community hub.

It will replace ageing surgery buildings at existing GP surgeries which are no longer fit for purpose, with some services for the combined patient populations of 10,500 delivered from temporary buildings.

It is anticipated that once planning permission and other requirements are met, that work could begin on the site in Mountain Ash in the spring next year.