Statement from Mark Hackett, Chief Executive, Swansea Bay University Health Board:
“Sadly, it is very clear from this independent report that there have been serious issues around care delivery and the leadership culture within our Children’s Community Nursing Services service for some time.
“This is hugely disappointing and completely unacceptable. On behalf of the health board, I sincerely apologise to the families affected.
“We know that families play an extremely important role in the care of children with ongoing health problems. So it’s vital that they are viewed as part of the NHS team which is providing this care.
“Regrettably, the report shows that this hasn’t been the experience of a significant proportion of parents.
“Please be assured that this will change. Every effort is being made to ensure that in future the service will be far more inclusive, and focused on the needs of the individual child.
“Our priorities now are repairing relationships with families and working alongside them to improve our services.
“It’s pleasing to see that since we jointly commissioned this report with parents, they are already reporting improvements in services, and, very importantly, their relationships with staff.
“It is encouraging that the report points out that many of these staff were already held in high regard by families, and we can certainly build on that.
“However, this is still much to do, and we will be inviting the external reviewers back in 12 months’ time to check on progress.
“As important first steps to building a better service, the leadership of the service has now changed, and we’ve ensured that collaborative partnerships between staff and families are built into the future service structure.
“Our staff who deliver hands-on care are keen to work closely with parents, and have already identified a number of innovative and compassionate service improvements for consideration.
“We will be drawing up a comprehensive new Parental Agreement, which sets out the roles and expectations of both the health board and the families, and this will be done with the input of and in partnership with parents.
“We have also agreed a number of further actions, which are outlined below.
“Finally, I would like to express my thanks to the families for the time and effort they devoted to engaging with the independent review team. I know that this has not been easy for them. However their insights, views and feedback are invaluable in moving forward.
“We hope we are now at the start of a new era for our Children’s Community Nursing Services. Working alongside families, we aim to provide the best possible care we can for these vulnerable youngsters in the years ahead.”
Our action plan to improve Children’s Community Nursing Services includes: