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‘Bed blocking’ numbers fall again

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Vaughan Gething: Thanked health and social services staff

Vaughan Gething: Thanked health
and social services staff

THE NUMBER of patients remaining in hospital when they are well enough to leave is falling, according to statistics released by the Welsh Government. The statistics for October 2015 show the total number of people experiencing a delayed transfer of care was 468. It was a fall of 1.3% compared to the previous month and is the second successive monthly fall. Delayed transfers of care, sometimes referred to as ‘bed blocking’ refer to people in NHS hospitals who are ready to move to the next stage of their care but are delayed for one or more reasons. The number of delayed transfers of care in Wales has been stable over the last four years, although the numbers do fluctuate from month to month. In total, 162 patients were delayed on acute wards, 86 in mental health facilities, and 220 on community, rehabilitation, or other wards.

More than a third (37%) of the delays were caused by health care reasons, while community care reasons accounted for 21%, selection of a care home 10% and waiting for the availability of a care home place 16%. The median length of delay was 26 days. The Welsh Government has adopted a “twin-track” approach towards investing in health and social care, which has helped to ensure people can leave hospital quickly when they are well enough. The latest figures published by the Treasury shows Wales spends £172 more per person on health and social care combined than in England. The Welsh Government believes its Intermediate Care Fund, which will next year be increased from £20m to £50m, has played a key role in supporting older and vulnerable people by helping them to maintain their independence in their own home, preventing hospital admissions and helping people leave hospital early.

Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething welcomed the news: “These latest figures show another welcome reduction in the number of delayed transfers of care” he said. “This is the second month in a row where we have seen a fall, in contrast to the trend seen in other parts of the UK. “Here in Wales we have taken a distinct approach of investing in both health and social care because many we know that people rely on both services for their care. “This includes investing millions of pounds in the Intermediate Care Fund, which plays an important role in supporting older people in their own homes; preventing unnecessary hospital admissions and reducing delays in hospital discharges. “I want to thank our health and social services staff for their continued hard work to make sure patients receive world-class healthcare and minimise delays to patient care. We will continue to work closely with health boards and local authorities to make sure people are able to leave hospital or go on to the next stage of their care as soon as they are medically fit to do so.”

However, Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams criticised the Welsh Government, saying that far too many patients were still being kept waiting: “There are still far too many patients being forced to wait weeks until they are discharged or until they are transferred to another care setting,” Ms Williams said. “Under the Welsh Labour Government, we have seen a huge reduction in the number of hospital beds. This has meant there simply aren’t enough available to meet demand. It also means we need a much greater focus on community care, with greater co-ordination between social services and health services – something the Welsh Liberal Democrats have long campaigned on. “Both patients and NHS staff deserve better than this, but the Labour Welsh Government’s poverty of ambition continues to hold our health service back.”

 

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Further childcare hub opening in Llanelli

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AN additional childcare hub has opened in Llanelli this week (w/c Monday, May 25) due to increasing demand to provide care for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

It will be located at Ysgol Ffwrnes in Llanelli and follows the opening of an extra three hubs at Bryn Primary School in Llanelli, Model Primary School in Carmarthen and Ysgol Tycroes.

It is important that numbers are kept low at the hubs to ensure the health and safety of both the children and staff.

Parents are being reminded to keep their children at home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). However, if you are a critical worker, and your child cannot stay at home, then your childcare will be prioritised.

Parents should only apply for childcare to cover their working hours; and are also being reminded to please cancel as soon as possible if they no longer need the provision.

Please note the timetable for applications to the childcare hubs has also changed, and that applications now close at 5pm on the Wednesday of the week before.

Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to consider any applications made after deadline. Due to the significant increase in demand for places at our hubs we must make sure they are staffed sufficiently. The health and safety of both staff and pupils is vital and has to be our main priority.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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