Health Minister issues written statement on escalation levels of UHB

Health Secretary Eluned Morgan has issued the following statement relating to the escalation levels of the University Health Boards:

ON 23 January, I made an oral statement in the Senedd, setting out the escalation levels of health boards, NHS trusts, and special health authorities (SHAs). I am now updating Members about the escalation status of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board.

I announced on 13 September 2023 that maternity and neonatal services at the health board would be de-escalated from targeted intervention to enhanced monitoring, in recognition of the progress made over the previous four-and-a-half years. The health board has continued to deliver improvements across its maternity and neonatal services and has met the agreed de-escalation criteria.
Site visits involving senior clinical Welsh Government officials have provided assurance about improvements in medical leadership and quality governance. Progress has also been made against the neonatal improvement plan. There are two actions outstanding but these have agreed completion dates. There has been a positive Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) unannounced inspection of the Tirion Birth Centre, at Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

The final report following an unannounced HIW inspection at Prince Charles Hospital is being published today. It concludes that staff at all levels in the service work hard to provide a good experience and that sufficient arrangements are in place to provide safe and effective care to women and birthing people. The inspection has generated two immediate assurances, but I am confident the health board has responded positively to these and other issues identified within the report. I am also assured the health board has responded in an open and transparent manner in relation to recent incidents.

Turning to governance, leadership and culture, trust and confidence, the health board has made significant progress in reforming these functions. The recommendations from HIW and Audit Wales’ joint review of quality and governance arrangements have been implemented and the new operating model fully embedded. There is a clear structure for the development of the organisation’s clinical strategy and work on this is progressing well. The health board strategy, together with the quality and patient safety framework, provides a good foundation to support the delivery of the duties of quality and candour. I would like to thank all the staff across the health board for all their hard work.

I am now in a position to de-escalate the health board to routine arrangements for maternity and neonatal services, governance, leadership and culture, trust and confidence. However, it remains in targeted intervention for performance and outcomes and enhanced monitoring for finance, strategy and planning.

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