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Staff presented with NHS Wales Awards for innovative services

The heart failure team receiving their award outside the hospital

Staff involved with three innovative Swansea Bay services which were recognised in the 2023 NHS Wales awards have now been presented with their winners’ plaques by Judith Paget, NHS Wales’ chief executive.

Judith visited Morriston Hospital shortly before Christmas to hand over the award for Delivering Higher Value Health and Care to the health board’s Community Heart Failure Service.

In what is believed to be a first for Wales, the service is investing in MOT-style annual reviews for patients whose hearts are not able to pump blood properly.

This can cause symptoms such as breathlessness, tiredness and swelling in parts of the body due to a build-up of fluid. Many patients also suffer from anxiety, depression and have difficulty sleeping.

Led by specialist pharmacists and nurses, the reviews are wide-ranging and include an electrocardiogram (ECG), a simple test where sensors are put on the skin to measure how well the heart is beating, a medication review, diet and exercise advice and education about heart failure.

The Cwmtawe Cluster team receiving their award

The idea is to spot any deterioration or prospect of it early so it can be nipped in the bud, keeping the patient stable and at home.

Judith said it was a “really great service which is making a difference to the lives of patients”.

The team said: “We are immensely proud to receive this award.

“It really demonstrates how a whole systems approach towards service redesign and working collaboratively with our secondary and primary care colleagues has led to significantly improved outcomes for our patients.”

She also visited members of the Cwmtawe Cluster at Strawberry Place Surgery to present their award for Delivering Person-Centred Services.

The Cluster won for its service that helps people with complex health and well-being needs while taking pressure off GPs.

The Cwmtawe Pathway Service offers support to those struggling with substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse, including sexual violence.

Pictured: Members of the Cwmtawe Cluster receiving the award from Judith Paget.

Its support can also extend to family members affected by these issues.

The pilot project is funded by the Cwmtawe Local Cluster Collaborative (LCC) and works in partnership with Swansea Council for Voluntary Service (SCVS).

Judith called the Cwmtawe project “a brilliant piece of work which had changed lives”.

Mike Garner, Cwmtawe LCC lead: “We’re totally thrilled to win the NHS Wales award.

“We are committed to this project and have seen first-hand the impact it has made to people’s lives and heard their testimonies.

“We are honoured to receive recognition for this work and delighted that it has received the recognition it so richly deserves.”

Members of staff receiving their award in an office

In January, Judith presented staff representing the Health Disability Activity Partnership with their award for Improving Health and Wellbeing.

The partnership involves the seven Welsh health boards and Disability Sports Wales, and signposts disabled people towards sports and physical activity opportunities with the help of local authority sports development teams.

It aims to increase the number of physically active disabled people across Wales, as well as improve well-being by decreasing the need for medical interventions.

Pictured: Staff from Welsh health boards receiving their award, with Gemma Thomas fourth from the left.

Gemma Thomas, Health Disability Activity Practitioner for Swansea Bay, was presented with the award alongside her six colleagues from the other health boards.

She said: “This award recognises a unique, Wales wide partnership between the NHS, Disability Sport Wales and local authorities.

“I am proud to represent Swansea Bay and to collaborate with our healthcare professionals, Swansea Sport & Health Team, Neath Port Talbot PASS Team and DSW to raise awareness of sport and physical activity opportunities to improve the health and wellbeing for those with disabilities.

“I wish to congratulate our colleagues in the above teams and acknowledge their contribution to the pathway.

“I am also hugely thankful to the staff and managers in paediatric physiotherapy who have supported me in my role.”

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