Community healthcare preparations during pandemic

NHS staff across Pembrokeshire are working tirelessly to provide vital community services and additional resources during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The changes made aim to support patients to manage their own health and well-being, focused around their own homes or close to home.

Staff have created a new 30-bedded ward in South Pembrokeshire Hospital in Pembroke Dock, which is near completion. This will provide extra palliative and rehabilitation bed capacity for patients from Withybush Hospital and directly from the community.

The new Cleddau Ward will be GP led and staffed by experienced nursing staff, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Further medical and support worker roles have been appointed to support the existing staff.

With the existing 40-bedded Sunderland Ward, the hospital now has 70 community beds to support our local population during the pandemic, while ten beds in Tenby Cottage Ward, Park House Court, will continue to provide recovery, rehabilitation and palliative care for non-Covid patients.

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “The teams have done a great job in setting up the new ward so quickly and reorganising the hospital to make it safer.

“Many staff have retrained and are working together to make sure everyone receives the care and support they need to stay safely at home and to be cared for in their local community hospital should they need it.

“As always the community spirit within the teams across Pembrokeshire absolutely shines in reorganising how we can continue to safely provide services to our population during the pandemic.”

Elaine Lorton, Pembrokeshire County Director for Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “Providing care for our population in or as close to home as possible is a priority and it will ensure that acute hospital beds are available for people who need them. 

“I am very proud of our community teams who have remained committed to providing care whilst adapting and being flexible to changing needs as these are presented and known. 

“I would also like to thank the many individuals and groups who are supporting people in their own homes and working with us to keep our communities and key workers safe.”

Community clinics are being established across the county for mobile and able patients to access a health clinic site for management and support of their health needs.

These clinics will allow our community nursing teams and therapists to increase the number of patients they see whilst providing care at home for those who are shielding or cannot leave their home due to their health.

An Intermediate Care Hub has been set up which will respond and deploy the right skilled professionals based on patient need and includes teams such as District Nursing, Specialist Nursing, Acute Response Team, Reablement and Care at Home Team. The hub works with the Withybush Medical Team, local authority and third sector groups to avoid hospital admissions, facilitate rapid hospital discharge and support patients in their own home.

Jason Bennett, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Head of Care and Housing, said: “I am really pleased that our intermediate care strategy for Pembrokeshire starting become a reality.

“The new intermediate care hub offers a single point of access to support people to remain in their communities or to return home from hospital with a coordinated response from health, social care and the voluntary sector.

“The Cleddau Ward within the day centre area is another example of how working together we are responding to the challenge we are all facing at this time, to ensure we putting in place hospital beds to support our population.”

For the latest news and updates from Hywel Dda University Health Board visit www.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk