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Performance improvement heralds good news for Hywel Dda UHB

Hywel Dda University Health Board says it is thanks to the hard work of its staff that it has moved out of targeted intervention with the Welsh Government.

It was announced today (Wednesday 07 2020) that Hywel Dda University Health Board was de-escalating from ‘targeted intervention’ to ‘enhanced monitoring’. The decision was made jointly between the Welsh Government, Audit Wales and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.

It follows an assessment of the health board which found it had made good progress during the last year in key performance areas. This includes significant improvements, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in reducing waiting times for people waiting the longest for treatment*.

The reduction in escalation has also been in recognition of the professional and considered way in which the Health Board has responded to the pandemic itself, often being the first in Wales to introduce new measures and approaches including establishing the first COVID-19 testing units, design and delivery of the field hospitals and a dedicated command centre to provide a whole-system approach.

Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “I’ve always been proud to work for this health board, but never more than the past few months and today upon hearing that the hard work and tenacity of our teams has earnt confidence and resulted in this achievement.

“I want to say a huge thank you to our staff – it is down to their professionalism, hard work and values that Hywel Dda UHB has matured to the organisation it is today.”

Chair Maria Battle added: “It has been an extraordinary time for us all and to have to made this achievement whilst we are also working hard to respond to COVID-19 is remarkable.

“The intervention process is there to support organisations and we are grateful to the Welsh Government, Audit Wales and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales for their contributions and their continued input. I hope their confidence in us as an organisation can now be shared by our communities, who we will continue to work in the interests of.”

The health board remains in enhanced measures whilst it concentrates on delivering its clinical strategy – Transforming Mid and West Wales – and achieving financial balance.

Steve said: “We are delighted to have made this significant achievement and will use this energy to continue our hard work to deliver on our long term strategy to improve health, well-being and care for people who live and work in the Hywel Dda area.”

*Up to March 2020 (when this improvement was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic), the health board was on track to ensure that no patient waited more than 36 weeks from referral to treatment; no more than 8 weeks for a diagnostic test; and no more than 14 weeks for a therapy. At it’s peak previously, more than 7,000 patients were waiting 36 weeks or more from referral to treatment.