Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport
The 2014 independent review into the care of frail older people at the Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot Hospitals within Abertawe, Bro Morgannwg University Health Board identified a number of concerns about the quality of care on some of the wards in these hospitals and about some clinical and managerial processes. A follow up review during 2015 confirmed the health board had made considerable progress against the original 14 recommendations and importantly the public could be reassured that the care of frail older people had much improved. The reviewers identified some areas where further progress was required. The health board has worked with and listened to its local communities and staff to address these and embed improvements across the entire health board.
For instance a values and behaviours framework has been developed with the public and stakeholders, as well as establishing a mechanism where concerns can be raised anonymously and action is taken promptly. Better engagement and support of staff is now in place across disciplines. For example pharmacists’ roles have been strengthened to support nursing and medical staff regarding medicines management. Staff training has been enhanced on key areas including dementia awareness. Leadership and governance arrangements have also been scrutinised and improvements made, including the roles of respective committees being revised to ensure reporting from ‘ward to board’ is clearly incorporated within their remits. This is just a small snapshot of the work taken forward to address the Trusted to Care recommendations. More detailed information is available on the health board’s website.
My officials have been working closely with the Health Board executive team throughout the process to monitor improvements following the Trusted to Care report. I am satisfied sufficient progress has been made against all Trusted to Care recommendations.
Going forward the Health Board recognises it needs to continue to build on what it has achieved and this should now continue through mainstream Health Board monitoring arrangements.
More generally and importantly NHS Wales has learnt from this. Much work has been undertaken over the last two years leading to a range of improvements. The programme of unannounced independent spot checks to all district general hospitals across Wales provided an opportunity to identify a number of wider system improvements. This was captured in the report published in September 2015 Learning from Trusted to Care – One Year On, which made further recommendations at a national level. Those recommendations continue to help inform our approach in delivering the high quality care that the public expect.