Nurse at patient's home

Report highlights projects bringing care closer to home ahead of winter

With the dangers of COVID-19 and the flu combining to further pummel the NHS this Christmas, health professionals are preparing for what could be the most challenging winter since records began.

In anticipation of the demand, NHS organisations across Wales have deployed a range of different initiatives that bring healthcare into the heart of the community and help stem the flow of pressure for health professionals this festive period.

Included in the Welsh NHS Confederation report detailing some of these initiatives was:

  • An Aneurin Bevan University Health Board initiative that saw the launch of an online map directing the people of Newport to the best ways to improve their wellbeing.
  • A Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board initiative that saved money and improved health outcomes by helping vulnerable Hepatitis C patients get tested and treated.
  • A partnership between Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and the Welsh National Opera that helped patients recover from long-COVID-19.
  • A partnership between Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and its local schools that empowered children with stammers and helped them communicate confidently and effectively.
  • A Digital Health and Care Wales initiative that supported the development and expansion of a bowel screening programme.
  • A partnership between Health Education and Improvement Wales and Natural Resources Wales that promoted green social prescribing amongst trainee GPs to alleviate some of the pressure on healthcare services.
  • A Hywel Dda University Health Board initiative that saw 72 Ukrainian families receive tailored and unique support, furthering Wales’ status as a Nation of Sanctuary.
  • A Powys Teaching Health Board initiative that saw the launch of an online mental health therapy service that has already helped tens of thousands of children and young people.
  • A Public Health Wales NHS Trust initiative that saw the launch of the country’s first high-street screening centre.
  • A Swansea Bay University Health Board initiative that saw the launch of a community clinic that helped lung condition diagnoses, subsequently cutting waiting times and freeing up capacity.
  • A Velindre University NHS Trust initiative that saw the launch of a new service that improved patient safety by identifying adverse immunotherapy side effects, aiding prevention and treatment.
  • A Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust initiative that saw the launch of an app that alerted first responders to when a cardiac arrest has occurred in their area.

Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Darren Hughes, said: “Leaders from across the NHS, public sector, third sector and private sector will be at our annual conference, sharing ideas, reflecting, and learning from each other to find solutions to the challenges ahead.

“Headlines about the NHS are dominated by negative patient stories and statistics without context – focusing on everything the NHS isn’t doing or isn’t doing quickly enough. We understand that for many patients this is their reality, where they’re waiting longer than we’d like for treatment and sometimes longer than is acceptable for urgent and emergency care. But it can be easy to forget that thousands of appointments, treatments and services take place across Wales every day that have a positive impact on patient outcomes.

“The NHS is facing an enormous amount of pressure before we hit the hardest months of the year and there are issues across the system, including with patient flow. But that shouldn’t take away from the incredible work of staff to improve the situation for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of patients across Wales.”

To read the full Welsh NHS Confederation report, click here.

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