Excellence in NHS Wales and Coronavirus

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Social Media Live Question & Answer
Aneurin Bevan

Ahead of the airing BBC documentary ‘Critical’, filmed at the Royal Gwent Hospital by staff members, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board organised a live Q&A session on social media. This gave the public the chance to ask any questions on life inside the Intensive Care Unit, the care and treatment of COVID-19 patients, the wellbeing of staff, and how people can keep themselves safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

More than 46,000 people tuned in to the Q&A during the live broadcast, with a total reach of 81,600 and 23,600 people liked, commented or shared the broadcast retrospecively.

The Coronavirus edition of ‘Critical’ was shown on BBC One Wales at 9pm on Monday, 11th May. The Health Board has received very positive feedback since this programme was aired and the BBC have confirmed viewing figures of 190,000 in Wales (not including iPlayer viewing figures).

Further live Q&As have been hosted on Facebook covering the topics of Mental Health during Mental Health Awareness Week and Test, Trace and Protect. More sessions are planned to further engage with the population of Gwent.


Innovative Pharmacy projects allowing nurses to spend more time caring for patients during COVID-19 pandemic 
Betsi Cadwaladr

New initiatives within Pharmacy are allowing nurses to spend more time caring for patients during the outbreak of COVID-19. Pharmacy teams across the Health Board have been supporting their colleagues by providing over 3000 poses of ready to administer medicine to be used for patients in Critical Care.

The use of the Smartfiller Syringe Filling Machine at Glan Clwyd Hospital, which is the first of its kind in Wales, has greatly increased capacity for the Pharmacy team to produce syringes in significant numbers which has been made more challenging both by an increase in demand and nurses having to wear full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This type of production has saved a huge amount of nursing time, allowing them to dedicate more time towards direct patient care.

The Pharmacy teams have taken on this additional work whilst continuing their normal services for general hospital departments, including cancer services. There are now plans to roll out this service across the two other main hospital sites and also significant interest has been received from other hospitals across the UK.


Cardiff and Vale UHB plays key role in COVID-19 Dexamethasone breakthrough

Cardiff and Vale UHB was the first health board in the UK to open the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 therapy) trial, which found that Dexamethasone reduces deaths of hospitalised patients with severe respiratory complications of COVID-19 by one third in ventilated patients, and by one fifth in other patients receiving oxygen. They were a leading recruiter to the trial with more than 180 patients enrolled, and have already adjusted treatment guidelines to incorporate its findings so that as many suitable Cardiff and Vale patients as possible can benefit from the treatment. For more details, please click here.


Supporting colleagues to keep smiling
Cwm Taff Morgannwg UHB

Staff and teams from across Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB are stepping away from their usual roles to support colleagues in other areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the teams adapting to new work is the Designed to Smile team. Made up of Dental Health Educators, Dental Nurses and Dental Health Support Workers, the team usually work to deliver and support the supervised tooth brushing programmes for schools and care homes.

With schools closed the team have stepped in supporting colleagues in a number of areas, including helping to run induction courses for new Health Care Support Workers, deliveries of donations to hospitals, pharmacy deliveries and working at the COVID testing centres across the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area.

They’re also continuing with their remit of dental education by delivering dental home-packs to school hubs and foodbanks across CTM and have delivered over 1400 toothbrush/ toothpaste packs across hospital sites.


Medicine management re-certification training programme launched for pharmacy technicians

A new training programme, launched by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), will enable pharmacy technicians in Wales to re-certify in medicine management to support the workforce during this challenging time. 

The new programme will help pharmacy technicians returning to practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those transferring their skills between workplace settings, to refresh their skills, knowledge and understanding.  

The training programme recognises that delivery in different sectors/care settings is diverse and does not attempt to prescribe one single model for the delivery of medicines management. 


Team's world first allows complex skin cancer op to continue during outbreak
Swansea Bay UHB

Pioneering work in Swansea means a complex skin cancer procedure can continue while patients are awake - for the first time anywhere in the world. This will significantly reduce the risk of melanoma recurrence and therefore improve disease-free survival.

Until now sentinel lymph node biopsies, a surgical technique that allows early detection of melanoma spread, have been carried out under general anaesthetic. But the Covid-19 outbreak has created significant risks with this, leading to the service having to be suspended. So Morriston Hospital’s plastic surgery and anaesthetics teams have developed a technique using a series of specially-developed nerve blocks, which allows these biopsies to continue.

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