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NHS increasing its focus on quality and safety

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THE NHS is taking significant steps towards ensuring better quality of care and improved measures of safety – that was the main message from NHS Wales Chief Executive David Sissling as he published his second annual report.
Achievements during 2012/13 include:
publication of new data on hospital mortality and hospital infection rates, helping to provide more transparent information to the public and drive up standards across the NHS;
all seven Welsh Local Health Boards and three Trusts now publishing Annual Quality Statements to report to the public on progress with the quality and standard of the services they provide;
a new dedicated website for patient safety providing information on how well each NHS Wales organisation is doing with implementing over 70 measures (safety solutions) designed to improve safety and quality of care; current data shows the NHS is doing well with 100 per cent compliance in many areas;
continuation of the 1000 Lives Plus quality programme, including introduction of a new system to alert staff if a patient’s health is deteriorating and prevent deaths from sepsis;
continued progress in reducing healthcare associated infections over the last year, including a 10 per cent reduction in C.difficile infections and19 per cent in MRSA infections;
continued improvements in reducing admissions related to coronary heart disease (-5.5 per cent), and diabetes (-3.5 per cent);
high satisfaction levels with NHS services – 84 per cent satisfaction with treatment in A&E departments and 92 per cent satisfaction with care by a GP
the fastest rate of improvement since 1993 across the UK for cancer survival rates; and
delivering financial balance.
In his second annual report, David Sissling described the year as being “defined by three issues”.
He said: “Firstly, our response here in Wales to the Francis report has meant an assessment of the safety and quality of our services and the introduction of measures in response.
“NHS Wales is the envy of much of the UK in terms of its focus on quality and safety. We are introducing more mechanisms to detect risks or problems before they occur, publishing more performance data to be more transparent to patients and drive improvement across the service, and also continuing to pioneer innovative programmes on raising quality of care.
“Secondly, throughout Wales our Health Boards have gone to public consultation regarding proposed changes in service delivery models. Some of the proposals represent a significant adjustment to much cherished local services, and that is why an effective and thorough process of engagement with our staff and the public has been so important. But one thing is clear and that is that changes have to be made to ensure our services are sustainable and able to respond to the many challenges faced by healthcare across Wales.
“Finally, the pressures experienced by the NHS in Wales during the winter period saw an unprecedented demand on our urgent and emergency care services and meant the re-direction of resources towards the increased demand. This in turn, of course, led to pressures on other parts of the service. We have been able to learn from these experiences and we are now planning for the rest of 2013 and the next three years.
“Reducing emergency and general hospital admissions is therefore a priority. The number of emergency and general admissions and readmissions has an effect on a hospital’s ability to deliver its non-urgent surgery, as resources are taken up in caring for the unplanned admissions. The trend during the previous years continued with fewer admissions related to coronary heart disease and diabetes, and fewer readmissions related to both coronary heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”
David Sissling added: “This has been a challenging year indeed, but I must pay tribute to all the hard work of NHS staff in the face of all that they have been required to do. Their dedication and commitment is exceptional and I am grateful to them and to the many volunteers whose invaluable contributions are often unseen.
“I want the NHS in Wales to be on an upward curve in terms of continual improvement in the services it delivers. There will be more challenges to come but if we continue to put our aim for first class patient care at the centre of our day-to-day plans, side by side with the committed and dedicated NHS workforce that we have in place, then we will get ever closer to the type of healthcare that we would all wish to see and experience here in Wales.”

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Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

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A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

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Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

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PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

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Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

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Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

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