Excellence in NHS Wales continues

older man with hearing aid talking to doctor

Restarting Services

Aneurin Bevan UHB

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to services. The Health Board continued to provide care as normal to patients who needed urgent treatments (through A&E, cancer services, etc.) although many routine appointments and treatments were postponed.

The Health Board’s Communications Team created a dedicated page on the Health Board website which enabled people to view this information easily and effectively. Each service is updated weekly, to ensure the public are kept informed of any changes to individual services as they happen. This has also been widely communicated through social media channels, as well as hosting a Facebook Live Q&A.


Unique employment support programme extended amid concern over the economic and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Betsi Cadwaladr UHB

An employment support programme which is the first of its kind in Wales has been extended, amid concern over the economic and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People struggling to find or hold down a job because of mental health difficulties are being encouraged to take advantage of the I CAN Work programme, which provides intensive support from employment specialists and health professionals. I CAN Work is being led by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and delivered in partnership with personal support services charity CAIS, and the Rhyl City Strategy, who have successful track records of helping people into work.

Following a successful 12 month pilot, which saw 500 individuals supported across North Wales, the programme has been extended for a further six months, with funding from the Welsh Government. I CAN Work is based on the principles of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment programme, which is used across the world and is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as the leading model to help people with poor mental health into work. It is the first time that this approach has been adopted on a large scale in Wales.

To bread more about the scheme, please click here.


Advanced Therapies Wales Programme Launch

Cardiff and Vale UHB

Advanced Therapies Wales officially launched its service to the public earlier this month. As part of the launch and in partnership with Life Sciences Hub Wales, ATW co-hosted an expert panel discussion on the Welsh Advanced Therapies landscape and the opportunities it presents for industry, academia and healthcare which saw over 200 participants attend.

Advanced Therapies Wales (ATW) programme has been established to harness the benefits from emerging and transformative therapies for the people of Wales. The programme aims to collaborate with strategic partners and stakeholders to provide patients with equitable access to emerging Advanced Therapies Medicinal Products (ATMPs) to improve health, well-being and prosperity.

To read more. Please visit their website – - which will be home to the latest news, updates and resources from the programme.




Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

CERi is CTM’s new Artificial Intelligence (virtual) chatbot. Recently launched, CERi has been designed to answer COVID19 questions, from physical health to coping with isolation. This new innovation is an example of how Cwm Taf Morgannwg is adjusting and evolving its services during the pandemic, addressing the increased expectation for instant and remote health care and access to trusted information.

The Health Board has worked with IBM and Meridian IT to develop Ask CERI. To keep in step with the latest Government policies, updated versions of the agent will be released at regular points.

Members of the public can access CERi from any digital device via this link -



New MedTRiM Resilience and Wellbeing online courses available to all NHS staff during COVID-19 pandemic


New online blended courses are available to support the ongoing psychological resilience and wellbeing of NHS staff in Wales during the COVID response.

The courses allow previous NHS staff attendees to revise their Medical Trauma Resilience Management (MedTRiM) training, while restrictions to normal working practices are in place.  An additional full subscription only, MedTRiM practitioner course will be available from this July. All courses present opportunities for self-directed study and interaction with the MedTRiM expert facilitators.

As well as learning how to implement the MedTRiM Organisation Management approach, the course emphasises the need for self-care, and a range of evidence-based wellbeing strategies developed for the courses. Known, as the Welbeing Baker’s Dozen, thirteen strategies are highlighted through the training. 

In collaboration with the world class learning provider, MiMentor, the first online blended learning course is now available, this MedTRiM Short Refresher course is intended for individuals who have previously attended a MedTRiM course.

For further information please see this webpage.



PTHB SilverCloud team to provide All Wales Self-Referral service

Powys THB

Everyone in Wales will soon be able to self-refer to a 12-week online course on the digital therapy platform SilverCloud thanks to Welsh Government funding, following a successful pilot in Powys Teaching Health Board.

From 1st September, 2020, people aged 16 and over in Wales, who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety or depression, can sign-up for this course on the digital therapy platform SilverCloud without needing to go through their GP.

SilverCloud digital therapy uses proven methods like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help people manage their mental health and wellbeing. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.

During lockdown, it was essential to maintain a healthy mind but this proved challenging for many people with the lack of contact with families and friends. Depression, stress and anxiety were common symptoms for both those providing key services and those who had to stay at home. Even with the easing of lockdown, some are suffering from extended shielding and others very nervous about coming into contact with the wider population.

For more information, please click here.



Health Foundation Funding for a Networked Data Lab for Population Health and Health Care in Wales

Public Health Wales

Public Health Wales will receive funding of up to £400,000 over two years to join a national network of experts who are working to address some of the biggest challenges facing health and care today, both nationally and in Wales. The Networked Data Lab (NDL) is a new Health Foundation initiative to build a collaborative network of analytical teams across the UK and use linked datasets to produce insights on critical areas of importance to population health and health care.

After a highly competitive process Public Health Wales, along with partners (NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS), Swansea University and Social Care Wales), have been successful in being awarded one of five NDLs across England, Scotland and Wales until December 2022.

Within Wales, the programme will help to accelerate the delivery of timely and more in-depth understanding of highly relevant health challenges. To read more, please click here.



Plasma therapy could be given to Covid patients in Morriston intensive care

Swansea Bay UHB

Antibodies from people who have recovered from Covid-19 could be given to patients in intensive care with the virus at Morriston Hospital.

The therapy, known as convalescent plasma, has been introduced into two urgent public health research studies taking in Wales, alongside the treatments they are already trialling.

It’s hoped the antibodies, contained within plasma collected from people who have had the disease, could help patients critically ill with it – as well as others in hospital with Covid-19 but not in intensive care.

To read more please check out their website.



Bridgend Covid-19 field hospital to host lifesaving blood donation sessions

Velindre NHS Trust

A unique collaboration between the Welsh Blood Service and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board will see a Covid-19 field hospital in Bridgend being used to collect vital whole blood donations throughout August.

The 400-bed field hospital, located at the site of the old Harman Becker unit in Bridgend, was rapidly established at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide extra bed capacity to help take pressure off local hospitals.

Due to current low levels of hospital admissions of Covid-19 locally, the field hospital has been repurposed to provide facilities for a number of non-Covid related medical services. On the 7 August and on other key dates throughout the month, the venue will play host to local blood donors rolling up their sleeves to make their lifesaving blood donations.

To read more please click here.

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