Excellence in NHS Wales throughout Coronavirus

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Volunteering during COVID-19 - Aneurin Bevan UHB

Maintaining volunteer activity during COVID has not been without challenge. Although patients facing volunteer activity on hospital wards is currently suspended, there are currently 300 volunteers (new and existing) willing to support their communities in these uncertain times. The Health Board’s Person Centred Care Team has maintained contact with all partner volunteering organisations and adapted to new ways of working to enable virtual volunteer training. This has enabled the team to both interview patients to capture experiences for future learning and keep in touch with volunteers and those befriended.  More details about their Ffrind i mi / Friend of Mind volunteer service can be found here.


Powys Teaching Health Board

Volunteering sits at the heart of the integrated health and care strategy in Powys, recognising the importance of this sector and the essential need to nurture and support those who bring their time, skills and discretionary effort to support others. Click here for some of their stories.


Public Health Wales third in the world in the use of genome sequencing for the COVID-19 pandemic response

Since the 6 March, the Public Health Wales Pathogen Genomics Unit has been working to sequence and analyse every available SARS-CoV-2 sample from patients in Wales to support the pandemic response within Wales, the UK and globally.  Genome sequencing is the process where the genome – the blueprint – of an organism is read using a specialised instrument called a sequencing instrument. Using this information, it is possible to track the spread and evolution of pathogens over time, and estimate important epidemiological parameters such as R.

Working with over 500 people from 17 sequencing centres across the UK as part of the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK), Public Health Wales has been playing a leading national role in the generation of sequencing data.  To date, they have sequenced over 5,000 SARS-CoV-2 genomes, representing more than a third of all COVID-19 cases in Wales and placing Wales 3rd in the world for COVID-19 genomes sequenced, behind only the USA and England.

To read more about the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, click here.


Antimicrobial Pharmacist develops online learning resource to help home schooling parents teach children about infection prevention and antibiotics – Betsi Cadwaladr UHB

A North Wales pharmacist is helping parents who are home schooling their children access learning about infection prevention, microorganisms and antibiotic use. Antimicrobial Pharmacist Kailey Sassi-Jones has developed a short series of lessons on the world of microorganism, infection prevention and antibiotic use.

The free bilingual resource has been emailed from Public Health Wales to all healthy school coordinators in Wales to share with their primary schools. The modules are aimed at children in years three and four of primary school, but can be used by younger children with supervision, as well as older children who can expand on the set activities which follow the short presentation. Resources include crosswords, word searches and other interactive activities to help children learn about what harmful organisms are and how viruses like the flu cause disease.

More details can be found here.


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has launched Keeping Me Well

A new digital rehabilitation resource with information that people can use to keep themselves well as home. The website is the first of its kind in Wales and is one of a very small number within the UK, and was launched to support people’s rehabilitation needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, from those who have spent prolonged periods of time recovering from the disease in hospital to those who have been shielding, avoided accessing treatment or whose treatment has been delayed.


Bedtime MRI scans for children cut waiting times and anxiety levels – Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

A new ‘bedtime’ MRI scanning service for young children is reducing the need for general anaesthetic and dramatically cutting waiting times at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

The idea behind the initiative is that children come into hospital at bedtime and are sleepy or even fast asleep when the MRI scan takes place, making the likelihood of the scan being successful far greater. Accompanied by their family, children arrive at the hospital, wearing their pyjamas, and are made comfortable in a room with low lighting. They are then encouraged to follow their usual bedtime ritual and settle into bed. Many children will fall asleep before being taken into the MRI room for scanning.

Given its success, it is hoped that the concept will be rolled out across Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB’s other hospital sites.


Family liaison roles – Hywel Dda UHB

In response to COVID-19, HDdUHB has introduced a number of family liaison roles, who main duty is to support families and ensure that they are able to remain connected with patients in hospital. The Health Board has purchased a number of digital devices to enable staff to support patients in the use of technology to maintain contact with loved ones. Additionally, they introduced a Stop & Drop service to enable relatives to drop property off for patients and collect laundry, it ensured that families still felt able to care and provide for their loved ones whilst they were hospitalised, centralising the service allowed the Health Board to maintain a level of control over incoming items for Infection, Prevention and Control purposes.


New Morriston unit helps gets elderly patients home instead of into hospital

Being brought into Morriston Hospital’s Emergency Department after a fall can be a confusing and disorientating experience for elderly people. So a dedicated “mini-ED” just for them has opened within the main department as part of a new scheme launched last month.

The unit has been developed by the Older Person’s Assessment Service, which aims to get elderly patients back home, not into hospital. OPAS is a multi-disciplinary service established in April 2018, made up of healthcare professionals specialising in the care of older people.

As well as those triaged at the front door, the team also sees patients who have been in ED for treatment, perhaps for a fracture, and are then referred on as they also require specialist geriatric care. The OPAS unit was initially run as a pilot but was so successful it has continued, though the long-term plans have yet to be finalised. But there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the service OPAS and the new unit provides is a vital one.

To read more, please click here.


Infection, prevention & control innovation - WAST

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trust’s Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) team partnered with Welsh Government, Ministry of Defence - Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), and Wales' Small Business Research Initiative Centre of Excellence (SBRICE) to deliver an innovation project.  The aim of the project is to identify technological solutions to rapidly sanitise ambulance vehicles.

The project has successfully identified several types of technology that may provide enhanced sanitisation to a range of healthcare environments, as well as explore challenges and usability within unique settings such as ambulance vehicles.  This learning can be applied to a range of healthcare vehicles that are in use across NHS Wales.

To read more, please visit the Welsh Government’s webpage here.

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