Swansea Bay University’s health board has responded well to the Covid pandemic, but some improvements are needed, inspectors say.
Wales Health Inspectorate (HIW) staff carried out a number of visits to hospitals, mental health units and a GP practice in the region in 2020-2021.
Scott Howe, HIW’s senior director of escalation and law enforcement, presented his report to members of the board of health at a meeting on July 29.
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Good practices included how patients hospitalized in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot were screened and tested for Covid, and how visiting arrangements were made in accordance with the latest guidelines, for example for end-of-life patients or those with dementia.
In mental health units, Mr Howe said, detailed infection prevention and control audits have taken place and additional activities have been put in place to keep patients occupied. Some tablets have been provided to help patients maintain contact with family and friends.
But staff shortages have contributed to patient falls in a hospital ward, while HIW has sought assurances on the pressure ulcer risk assessment process.
In mental health facilities, ligation assessments had been carried out, but work to address the deficiencies was being delayed. There were other unspecified environmental issues that also needed to be addressed.
Inspection of the GP’s surgery revealed that a dedicated patient isolation room had been set up and home visits continued during the pandemic. But there was no written procedure or risk assessment for home visits in place.
Christine Williams, Acting Director of Nursing and Patient Experience for the Board of Health, said: âThe past 12 months have been very difficult.
The inspections, she said, had gone very well overall.
âThere have been areas for improvement, but we continue to work in these areas,â she said.
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Asked by health council chief executive Mark Hackett about what was being done about fall and ligation risks, Ms Williams said there was a problem with falling in the first quarter of this year as nearly 60% of the workforce was on leave at the height of the second. coronavirus wave.
She said falls were a top quality priority for the board of health and that improvements have been made in recent weeks.
She also said there were clear deadlines for implementing the findings of the ligation risk assessments and that some improvements had already been made.
Mr Howe said Wales’ boards of health were providing a good standard of care overall in 2020-2021, with staff showing relentless commitment and flexibility.
HIW addressed 439 areas of concern in Wales, of which 36 were classified as requiring urgent action.
The agency’s acting chief executive, Alun Jones, said many of those reports concerned how dental offices were operating under the restrictions in place at the time.