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Healthcare Keeping you up to date with what’s happening across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf

Issue 2: May 2013

Chief Executive’s note Welcome to our second edition of Your Healthcare - our e-newsletter which will help you stay in touch with all the changes and developments to healthcare services across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. Please share it with your friends and family who might want to keep up with our news. Don’t forget, to be sure you don’t miss out on future editions please register your details here to get your very own copy direct to your inbox. I hope that you find our e-newsletter useful and interesting and if you have any ideas for future editions please email our communications team. Thanks Allison Chief Executive Cwm Taf Health Board

Useful contacts Royal Glamorgan Hospital: 01443 443 443 Prince Charles Hospital: 01685 721 721 Ysbyty Cwm Cynon: 01443 715 211 Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda: 01443 430 022 Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda Minor Injuries - Phone First: 01443 444 075 Dewi Sant Hospital: 01443 486 222 Ysbyty George Thomas: 01443 430 022 Y Bwthyn: 01443 443 758 Keir Hardie Health Park: 01685 351 021 Follow us on twitter @cwmtaf

CONTENTS More than 3,000 in Cwm Taf Health Board area aged 10-18 still unprotected from measles


Nurses at Cwm Taf Health Board celebrate International Nurses Day


Your letters


WRVS revamp at Prince Charles Hospital


Unique work experience for young people with learning difficulties


A healthier communte for Pontyclun and Llantrisant people


Vital health information on your fridge


Rising star Emma wins national award


Missed issue 1? Read it here

Cwm Taf hospitals map Use our interactive map for more information about our hospitals

More than 3,000 people in Cwm Taf Health Board area aged 10-18 still unprotected against measles More than 3,000 people in the Cwm Taf Health Board area between the ages of 10 and 18 are still unprotected from measles according to Public Health Wales. Since the beginning of November, 1,850 people in the area have come forward for unscheduled vaccination. Of these, only 877 were aged between 10 and 18 – the hardest hit age group in the current outbreak. Of 4,278 people aged 10 to 18 identified as not fully vaccinated at the beginning of the outbreak, this leaves 3,401 still at risk from measles.


The outbreak is centred on the Swansea area but there have been cases in all health board areas of Wales since the beginning of November 2012. The current number of cases in the outbreak now stands at 1,039. Nicola John, Director of Public Health for Cwm Taf Health Board, said: “The simple, safe and effective way to stop measles is to have two MMR jabs. “Parents appear to understand this well. The number vaccinated in the last month has been very encouraging. “But there is still much to do and those in the 10 to18 year age group are a partic-

ular concern. Young people of this age are most likely to have missed the MMR jabs when they were young. They are most vulnerable to measles and we need to see a better response to the catchup now being offered by the NHS. A vaccination programme across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf commenced in April targeting schools with the lowest uptake of the MMR vaccine. Since the programme started hundreds of pupils across the area have now received the vaccine with more schools being completed on a daily basis.

Schools scheduled for the MMR vaccine are:  Aberdare High School – 2

May 2013  Pontypridd High School – 2

May 2013  Cardinal Newman Catholic

Comprehensive – 7 May 2013  Bryn celynnog Comprehensive School – 8 May 2013  Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun – 9 May 2013  Y Pant School – 10 May 2013  Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari – 13 May 2013  Tonypandy Comprehensive School – 14 May 2013  Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg – 16 May 2013  Ferndale Comprehensive School – 17 May 2013  Ysgol Gyfun Cymer Rhondda – 20 May 2013  Tonyrefail School – 24 May 2013 A schedule for colleges is also in place:  Coleg

Morgannwg Aberdare campus - 20 May 2013  Merthyr Tydfil College – 22 May 2013  Coleg Morgannwg Nantgarw campus – 23 May 2013  Coleg Morgannwg Rhondda campus – 24 May 2013 “Vaccination sessions are continuing in schools across the area and I urge pupils and their parents to take advantage of these. “We have seen that measles can be potentially fatal and no one should be complacent about its severity.

“Those not vaccinated are highly likely to catch measles, which is highly contagious. It is just a matter of time before a child is left with serious and permanent complications such as eye disorders, deafness or brain damage, or dies. “It is inevitable that some children vaccinated in the last two weeks will already be incubating measles and vaccination will not prevent them from becoming unwell, but their illness is likely to be

milder than if they had not received the vaccine. “The MMR vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization, UK Department of Health and Public Health Wales as the most effective and safe way to protect children against measles.” To prevent the spread of the illness, Public Health Wales has issued the following advice:  If your child is unvaccinat-

ed make immediate arrangements with your GP for them to receive the MMR jab. This is even more important if your child has had contact with someone with measles.  If your child is unwell and

you suspect it is measles you should contact your GP. Your child should not attend school or nursery for four days after the rash starts.  Telephone your GP sur-

gery to inform them you or

your child has a rash illness before attending, so that arrangements can be made in advance for minimising contact with other vulnerable patients.  Avoid going to A&E unless

you are seriously ill, and if you do attend, telephone ahead to let them know you or your child may have measles.  Avoid contact with preg-

nant women, people with weak immune systems and babies who are too young to be vaccinated, as they are more vulnerable to infection and there are very few treatments available to help them if they do catch measles.  If any family members are

pregnant, receiving chemotherapy, or aged under one, it is vital to ensure that all other family members are up to date with their MMR vaccination.  Maternity wards, midwives

and health visitors are being asked to share information with parents to encourage them to check the vaccination status of all children in the family to avoid further household spread amongst vulnerable groups. Further information on measles, including a link to a video testimony from a mother whose three year old unvaccinated daughter contracted measles, click here. The latest data on the measles outbreak – including cases by health board area, vaccination uptake data and numbers of unvaccinated children in Wales, click here. 5

Nurses at Cwm Taf Health Board celebrate

International Nurses Day Nurses from Cwm Taf Health Board will be celebrating International Nurses Day on May 12. Nurses across the UK will be celebrating the outstanding practice of nurses and their impact on patient care. They’ll also be showcasing the difference made by nurses to the health of individuals and the nation, including examples of extraordinary compassion and innovation. Angela Hopkins, director of nursing at Cwm Taf Health Board, said: “International Nurses Day is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the fantastic work of our nurses at Cwm Taf. It is also a real chance for us to promote nursing as a career option


for young people.” “Everything nurses do supports patient care. Nursing in 2013 means their work can range from caring for patients on a ward to working with other healthcare professionals on innovative treatments and groundbreaking research. For this, and the many other fantastic things they do every day, nurses should be appreciated and supported all year round as well as celebrated on International Nurses Day.” Sarah McGrath, a staff nurse at Cwm Taf Health Board, said: “The chance to celebrate my profession is fantastic. Nurses are not always the best at talking about the work we do and the differ-

ence we make to people’s lives. I love my job and I want everyone to be as proud of UK nurses as I am. International Nurses Day provides a real chance to do this.” Elizabeth Robb, Chief Executive of The Florence Nightingale Foundation, said: “International Nurses Day is an opportunity for nurses to commemorate the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale. I would encourage all nurses to join in by reaching out into their communities to demonstrate and celebrate the impact that modern day nurses make to healthcare.”


YOUR LETTERS Thank you so much for your lovely letter. I have informed the rest of the family and they are so pleased that Mum’s record book will be back in Merthyr Tydfil. The Cookes lived in Merthyr Tydfil and Mum's dad Albert was a steel worker. Mum was a clever girl and went to Cyfartha School when it was in Cyfarthfa Castle. She did well and gained the academic qualifications to become a nurse. As you see, I have enclosed a photo of Mum when she started training at Merthyr Tydfil Infirmary at the tender age of 19. After she qualified, she joined a nursing team at an industrial com-

plex in Slough, this was of course years before the Health & Safety at Work Act and I reall her telling me of the awful injuries she had to manage that were sustained by the factory employees. After Slough, she went to work at Townlands Hospital in Henley-on-Thames. She met my Dad in Henley 1943 and they were married just before he was posted to India.

Merthyr Tydfil Infirmary

In 1954 and four children later we moved to Stadhampton, a small village near Oxford. Mum continued her nursing at Cowley Road Hospital. My father was by now a police officer and we lived in the Police House in the village; Mum’s skills were called upon regularly for all sorts of things ‘medical’ from helping at births to strapping up broken bones prior to the arrival of the ambulance which in those days took quite a while. In the late 60’s my parents had moved to Somerset and Mum again continued nursing, this time in the A&E department of the War Memorial Hospital in Burnham-onSea where on one occasion it was me she had to work on. As she stitched the gash in my head, each stitch was punctuated with her telling me that: “The last thing I need is you in here” and “don’t you think I have enough to do without having to sew you up!”. No soothing bedside manner for me. Mum finished nursing professionally in 1972, but con-

tinued caring for and looking after people for the rest of her life. After retirement she taught history at a small private junior school in WestonSuper-Mare. She has four children, seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Thank you once again for agreeing to take care of this small but important part from the beginning of a long nursing career. Mr Harker Buckinghamshire Do you have a story to share? Send them to us here.


WRVS revamp at Prince Charles Hospital

Older people’s charity WRVS is celebrating the launch of a revamped shop and cafe at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, today, where the charity also presented Cwm Taf Health board with a fantastic ‘gift’ of £220,000. The money, an accumulation of the profits made at the WRVS services at Prince Charles Hospital, will be used by Cwm Taf Health Board to support older people across the area. Roy Noble officially opened the new services at the hospital, and was joined at the event by Labour AM for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, Huw Lewis. The service will provide much more than a place to get refreshments and collect gifts for loved ones; the volunteers provide a comforting 8

ear for those visiting or staying at the hospital. WRVS has been supporting visitors and patients at the hospital for 38 years. All the money raised from the services at the hospital are gifted back to Cwm Taf Health Board. Wendy Marshall, WRVS area manager for south east Wales, said: “These are fantastic services that make a real difference to the people who use them. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers, staff and hospital colleagues who have shown a tremendous amount of support for the services. We look forward to closely working with the hospital in the future to help more older people in the area.” Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney AM Huw Lewis said: “Visiting hospital can be a deeply worrying and anxious time for patients and their families. “The WRVS café offers more than just the chance to have a cup of tea and a snack. It provides invaluable support at a time when people are

most vulnerable. “As someone who uses the hospital, I have greatly welcomed the services of dedicated WRVS volunteers. Without whom, the whole patient experience would be much poorer. “As the local Assembly Member, I’ve been pleased to work with the WRVS and the Health Board to help ensure a continued presence here at Prince Charles Hospital and I look forward to seeing services develop over time to further support patients and their families.” Bernie Rees, deputy chief executive said: “We are delighted to have been able to work in partnership with the WRVS and provide our patients and visitors such a pleasant environment to relax, have a cup of tea and cake.”

Unique work experience for young people with learning difficulties Four young people with learning difficulties have started a unique work experience project at Cwm Taf Health Board. Project Enable, which is run in conjunction with the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights and Elite Supported Employment Agency in Wales through the real opportunities European project, started this month and provides young people with learning difficulties from the local area the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience. Cwm Taf Health Board is the first health board in Wales to offer young people Project Enable work placements. Chris English, operations manager for Elite said: “Our partnership with Cwm Taf Health Board is a great opportunity for our interns.

“With all four working for one day throughout the week they effectively do a job share. “We very much hope the transferable skills they learn will help them go on to find full time employment. Despite this being unpaid work – it shows great commitment from each of them.” Now in his third week, Owen Morgan aged 18 from Gelli, one of the interns who is also studying catering hospitality at Coleg Morgannwg, said: “I’m enjoying every bit of it – all the people here are great. “The work experience teaches me much more than just the job - it teaches me how to be independent with things like travelling to work. “My parents taught me not to worry about disability – they

taught me that it’s personality that matters. When asked who his favourite celebrity chef was, Owen promptly replied “Jamie Oliver and Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall.” “When I finish this and college I’d like to work in a restaurant – I think I’ve got the skills for it.” The success of the project has also sparked interest across Europe. Today Owen played host to a number of European delegates from a pan-European funded project called Leonardo. Shirley Jones, assistant catering manager at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, said: “All the interns have been great. Each of them have picked up the tasks really quickly and fit in really well with the rest of our team. It would be great if we could keep them on.”


A healthier commute for Pontyclun and Llantrisant people A new shared use route linking Pontyclun railway station to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and communities in between has been opened today by Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales on behalf of Sustrans and Rhondda Cynon Taf. The route is the latest addition to over 70 miles of new walking and cycling paths across the South Wales Valleys, funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. The route will provide the opportunity for local residents – and people visiting the Royal Glamorgan Hospi-


tal – to build physical activity into their daily routine, the most effective way of getting the exercise that’s good for our health. Sedentary lifestyles lead to an increase in diseases such as type 2 diabetes, some cancers and heart diseases but currently, only 30% of people in Wales are getting enough exercise to have a positive impact on their health. Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Ruth Hussey opening the new route, said, “This new route has the potential to make a real difference to communities in

Llantrisant and Pontyclun, making it easier for people to make healthier choices.

Small changes to our daily routines, like walking and cycling short distances, can improve the way we feel as well as our physical health. This fits with the Active Travel Bill’s aim of making cycling and walking the most natural and normal way of getting about and to ensure

Take a look at the new route on our You Tube channel

scenery while getting some exercise at the same time. We also have a secure bike shed at the Royal Glamorgan so hopefully we'll see lots of our staff who live in the area making the most of the new route too."

that active travel is a viable mode of transport for shorter journeys.” Jane Lorimer, Acting National Director of Sustrans Cymru, added, “By providing a safe and direct route linking communities in Pontyclun and Llantrisant, many more local people will be able to make their everyday journeys on foot or by bike. “The NHS in Wales now spends upwards of £70million a year dealing with the costs of obesity, more routes like this will help people keep fit and healthy and prevent the onset of a variety of diseases linked to obesity and physical inactivity.”

safer conditions to do both of these pastimes within a safer environment as well as helping to encourage greater social interaction and a more sustainable way of travelling for people living and working in the area.” Nicola John, director of public health at Cwm Taf Health Board, said: "More than 60% of the adult population living in our area is either overweight or obese. This new link between Pontyclun railway station and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital will be a great way for our residents to enjoy some wonderful

The route will be followed by a further phase of the project, which will connect Llantrisant with the scenic Church Village and Treforest Community Routes, and onwards to the Taff Trail – providing more safe routes linking communities and helping people to keep active. The new route has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, and is part of an exciting project delivered by Sustrans and local authorities to extend the National Cycle Network in the South Wales

Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, said: “Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is committed to promoting healthier lifestyles among its residents, and what better way to do that than by walking or cycling. “The new Route will provide 11

Vital health information

on your fridge Free fridge magnets, which guide patients to the most appropriate place of care are being given to the public across the Rhondda Valleys and Taff Ely. The fridge magnets are a clear reminder that accident and emergency departments are for serious or lifethreatening emergencies only. They also include examples of typical ailments which patients might suffer from such as sprains or earache directing them too the most appropriate care setting such as the minor injuries treatment centre or their GP. It is hoped that the fridge magnet, which is part of a national Choose Well campaign, will help alleviate some of the pressures in the accident and emergency departments. Bernie Rees, deputy chief executive at Cwm Taf Health board, said: “Patients are faced


with a number of options of where and how they can access their care and this can sometimes be confusing. “The fridge magnets are a simple reminder of the options available to them and will hopefully help guide patients to making the right choices” Also advertised on the magnets is the Phone First! telephone number – 01443 444 075 which has been a success ever since it was first introduced at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda minor injuries treatment centre in May 2012. Patients who suffer a minor injury are

able to phone ahead for a convenient appointment to be treated at the minor injuries treatment centre at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda saving the need to wait at A&E. Dr Quirke, Cwm Taf Health Board’s deputy medical director, said: “We know our A&E departments, like others throughout Wales are under significant pressure at the moment. The Phone First service is helping to address some of those pressures by ensuring patients with minor injuries are being treated by the right person, in the right place and at the right time.”

Rising star Emma wins national award Occupational therapist Emma Ralph (pictured left) has been declared a rising star in healthcare after winning a national award. She was one of three people singled out for special recognition in the Rising Star category of the Advancing Healthcare Awards, which rewards achievement among allied health professionals and health scientists. Emma was nominated by her colleagues in Cwm Taf Health Board for her work over the last two years in stroke rehabilitation services. Speaking after collecting the award, Emma said: “I feel really privileged to have been nominated for this award – it’s a great acknowledgement that

senior members of staff felt I deserved to be nominated. “To win was a bit of a shock because to me, this is my day-to-day work and the standard that I need to work to. “I’ve done well because of the input and investment my team and my managers have put into my training and development.” Ten people were nominated for the Rising Star award, which recognises health professionals who “stand out from the crowd and show potential for their future careers”.

model to allow patients to be transferred from hospital to community-based rehabilitation services. The work has reduced the time patients are in hospital after a stroke. A thank you card from a family said: “I would like to say a special thank you to our link person (Emma), who was very informative and helpful throughout and made the process easy for us as a family.” Emma added: “I feel very committed to Cwm Taf Health Board – I’ve had many opportunities here, including being nominated for this award.”

Emma, who is based at Keir Hardie Health Park, in Merthyr Tydfil, was nominated for her lead role in developing a new service 13

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Your Healthcare issue 2  

Cwm Taf Health Board's e-newsletter. Keeping you up to date with what’s happening across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf

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