Agenda item

Presentation to Council by Representatives of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board


The Chief Executive presented a report to advise Members of a presentation proposed to be delivered to Council by representatives of one of the Council’s key work partners, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (CTMUHB).


A PowerPoint was presented by representatives of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.


Questions to the Health Board:

The Deputy Leader stated that we further wish to integrate our health and social care, however we have a different operating model to that of the rest of the health board footprint so has this been acknowledged by the health board.


A representative of the health board explained that the difficulties with Bridgend had been acknowledged and they were aware of the lack of facilities currently covering the Bridgend County Borough. He added that Rhondda Cynon Taf had 2 community hospitals in which they covered Merthyr Tydfil also. The aim was to use these facilities to also cover Bridgend for more specialist care like stroke patients that have been discharged from the Princess of Wales Hospital. 


A Member explained that a relative was taken into hospital earlier this week with a suspected heart attack but had waited in an ambulance for approximately 30 hours in -3c temperatures. She provided another example whereby a neighbour of hers suffered a stroke and was told over the telephone that there was a potential 4 hour wait for an ambulance. Luckily, with the help of others they were able to take him by car to the hospital where he was seen immediately. She added that herself and another Member were at a Bridgend Care and Repair meeting whereby they were waiting for a representative from the health board to be sent to the group as they believed they could support some of the patients as well as waiting for over 70 DFG’s from BCBC to allow patients to live in their own homes with equipment/adaptations etc. She asked what was being done to work with organisations such as Bridgend Care and Repair so that patients can be released from hospital and cared for in their home. She also asked if there was a way of utilising the facilities that were used during lockdown to care for these patients in the interim before they were able to be released to go home. On a more positive note, she made an unannounced visit to Princess of Wales a number of weeks ago and speaking with patients there, they had had very good things to say about the staff there and their only concerns were with waiting times for admissions, etc.


The Health Board representative explained that with regards to Bridgend Care and Repair they were working closely with them and would look into the reasons why there was not a representative at the above meeting(s).


He explained that due to the Covid 19 pandemic we were able to utilise  Ysbyty'r Seren to manage patients who did not need to be in hospital but were unable to go back to their own homes and there were the staffing and resources available to do this. However he agreed that something needed to be done and emergency planning was necessary and so this was something that would be looked at.


A Member thanked the Health Board representative for the recent meeting that he had with himself and fellow ward members. He explained that one of the things that was discussed was the pressures on ambulances and hospitals due to the winter pressures, but in relation to access to primary health care he noted that there had also been a spike in residents struggling with this. He explained that recently he had written to the practice manager of a local doctor’s surgery on behalf of two elderly patients and although they did manage to get appointments for them, it was not a sustainable way for the elderly to have to get an appointment. These he felt should be more readily available for patients. He asked for reassurance on how the health board were going to deal with the added pressures and number of people trying to ring a surgery and the E-consult service to get an appointment.


The Health Board representative agreed that there were significant pressures in this area also and they have been made aware of large volumes of calls being made to practices, with there having been a lot of frustration by members of the community regarding this. He explained that his staff were working closely with GP practices to establish better ways of gathering information on GP access, in order to see how many calls were being managed and handled and it was evident that different practices managed their appointment booking systems differently, which may be why there were variations between practices. He asked that if Members had specific issues to raise to ensure that they get in contact with the health board and this information will be fed back to the GP practices to ensure that they were working to improve this situation where they can.


A Member stated that Wales had a long and proud history with the NHS however health services were a worry in Wales at present. He asked what safeguarding measures and support mechanisms were put in place for the staff, many of whom were at the front line dealing with this crisis and many would also be residents of the county borough.


The Health Board representative agreed that staff were under immense pressures at the moment with the demands that have been placed on them. He explained that there was a very well-developed wellbeing service for staff across the region that involves access to an employee assistance programme which provides counselling and wellbeing support over the telephone and online which helps with stress at work or in home life.  He added that the health board regularly met with staff and listened to their concerns and took on board any suggested areas for improvement that could be made in order to better support their wellbeing


A Member asked in relation to the Covid vaccines, why many residents were being sent to a different area to receive it when they had a vaccine centre more closer to their home.  The Health Board representative explained that when the model was changed at the start of 2022, whereby Ravens Court was no longer to be used as a centre, the health board struggled to find a facility that could enable proper storage, access to patients, parking and the size of such a facility. However, patients could choose to change their appointment location if they feel their allocated location was too inconvenient.


A Member mentioned that in Porthcawl, the local GP surgery is so difficult to get into contact with or to book an appointment there, that residents are travelling to A&E to be seen. The Health Board representative took this feedback away and stated that he would look into it.


Further questions were asked of the health board representatives which can be found at the recording link here together with the responses.


RESOLVED:              That Council noted the presentation as referred to at paragraph 4.1 of this report.


Supporting documents: