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Neath Port Talbot

Digital solution saves nurses hours filling in essential paperwork

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Countless hours spent completing essential paperwork for patients is fast becoming a distant memory for nurses and other healthcare staff in Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

The nursing documentation required for a single admission to hospital can run to more than 70 pages.

This is not only time-consuming, but frustrating for patients and carers, who may have been asked the same questions several times by healthcare staff elsewhere before they came into hospital.

Now a digital solution known as the Welsh Nursing Care Record (WNCR), is being rolled out across Wales. It means much of this work can be done electronically – saving time and improving patient safety.

The WNCR has involved developing standardised e-documents, allowing the same patient information to be recorded across the whole of Wales.

To begin with, the admission assessment, along with six core patient risk assessments including nutrition, falls and pain, were standardised, with work ongoing to add more.

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WNCR went live in Neath Port Talbot Hospital earlier this year following a pilot in March 2020. Staff now record and access patient information using computer devices.

Feedback has been really positive, with many nurses reporting it has freed them up to spend more time with patients.

Clinical nurse specialist Tracy Jones said: “It takes about an hour to complete a comprehensive nursing admission.

“There are about 70 pages to admission documents which the nurses or healthcare support workers have to complete for every single patient that comes in.

“On every one of those pages they have to put a sticker with the patient’s ID on.

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“Handwriting can be illegible. Pieces of paper don’t stay in the same order, there’s no spellcheck, there are lines crossed through. It becomes messy.”

Staff nurse Zoe Evans is one of the many nursing and healthcare staff at Neath Port Talbot Hospital to use the system (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

As well as having to fill in all the forms when patients are admitted, risk assessments have to be updated daily and weekly. Yet more paperwork has to be completed when the patient is discharged.

Senior matron Liz Williams said: “The aim of WNCR is to release nurses from the administrative burden of completing essential paper nursing documents, allowing them to spend more time on direct patient care.

“Digitisation of the nursing documentation has enabled more remote working. For example, dietitians and physiotherapists can access patient notes without having to come to the ward.”

The information is also instantly available when the patient is discharged, and is fed into the Welsh Clinical Portal, the national digital patient record.

This means the information is available to NHS healthcare staff wherever in Wales the patient receives care.

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Swansea Bay developed an electronic nursing assessment that was piloted in NPTH Ward A in 2018. It was shown to save around 10 minutes per admission for nurses and 20 minutes for healthcare support workers.

The WNCR was subsequently developed in Swansea Bay on behalf of Digital Health and Care Wales, which selected it as the basis of an all-Wales solution.

WNCR went live in five wards in Neath Port Talbot Hospital in April this year, with a sixth ward added in August.

The hospital was chosen because it was already using another digital solution, HEPMA – Hospital e-Prescribing and Medicines Administration – so the nursing teams were familiar with the technology involved.

HEPMA automates the prescribing and administering of medicines for patients in hospital, again saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

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Neuro-Rehab Ward Manager Christine Evans using WNCR  (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

Swansea Bay’s Digital Programme Manager, Marc Thomas, said: “Nurses and healthcare support workers have embraced the technology and the new digital ways of working.

“Implementing WNCR after HEPMA contributed to its success, though that wasn’t the only reason – we had vast support from our brilliant team of corporate nursing colleagues.

“But it really made it easier because, while the type and amount of information going into WNCR is wide and varied, the staff were already confident with the devices.”

Nursing staff are proud of what they have achieved, especially as Neath Port Talbot is the first hospital in Wales to have both HEPMA and WNCR.

For example, ward sisters receive regular reports showing when the last risk assessments were completed.

Tracy said: “Some display them on the wall so the nursing teams can see them.

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“When they were first printed out, there were lots of red on the reports which showed what was out of date or overdue. Now it’s all green on some wards.

“The nurses are really proud of that. They can see how they’ve improved their practice and they’ve improved patient safety and patient care.

“We had a visit from another health board and they were so impressed by how our reports were being used to improve care and how the nurses were taking ownership of them.

“It’s a much more professional way of completing nursing documentation, and safer for the patient and for the staff.”

Liz said the implementation had been successful because the system was intuitive and had been designed with nurses in mind.

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“We’re fortunate because it was originally designed in this health board, which we should be really proud of,” she added.

“We’re now planning our next roll-out, at Singleton Hospital this November.”

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Health

Health board warning flu cases leading to hospital admissions in Swansea Bay

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The flu virus is already circulating and has led to people being hospitalised according to Swansea Bay University Health Board’s Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid.

Dr Reid said the cases, although small in number, should be a timely reminder that everyone eligible for a free flu vaccination should take up the offer.

Dr Keith Reid

“Flu was non-existent in autumn and winter 2020 as lockdowns, mask wearing and increased hand hygiene stopped it and other winter bugs from spreading from person to person,” he said.

“But we have been expecting to see flu come back this year and potentially at levels up to twice as high as a normal flu season.

“People were simply not exposed to flu and other seasonal viruses last year, so the level of immunity in the community is likely to have dropped and people will be susceptible.

“Plus we are all mixing far more now and, with the bad weather coming, we are all going to be heading indoors which will give flu and other bugs the ideal opportunity to spread.”

Flu can be fatal and research has shown that those infected with both flu and Covid are more than twice as likely to die as someone with Covid alone.

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Dr Reid said: “This will be the first winter when we will have significant levels of flu and Covid circulating at the same time, so I must urge everyone, if they are eligible for a free flu vaccination, to take up the offer as soon as possible.

“While no vaccine can offer 100% protection, the flu vaccine remains our best defence against this nasty virus.

“And remember, if you haven’t yet had your first Covid vaccination you can still do so.”

(Lead image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com)

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Neath Port Talbot

Project supports more than 300 young people into employment, education and training

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A project run by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Youth Service has supported more than 300 young people to help get access to either employment, full-time education or training.

The project, known as Cam Nesa, worked specifically with young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who were disengaged from the job market and were not in employment, education or training (NEET). 

Youth Workers employed by the project provided tailored support for the young people such as helping them with job searching, CV writing, interview techniques and completing job applications. Plus, they would provide advice and guidance when needed, including signposting them to specialist support services.

Since the project was launched in 2018, it supported 243 young people into employment and 58 into education or training.

One young person from Neath Port Talbot who received support through the project said: “I’m really grateful for the support and help that the Cam Nesa team gave me. They improved my CV, provided me with training and helped me with interview skills, all of which helped me to get the job.”

Whilst the Cam Nesa project has now come to an end, the Council’s Youth Service will continue to provide support for 16 to 18 years old who are NEET through their KIT (Keeping in Touch) Team. The team also provides employability support to 18 to 25 year olds in partnership with Jobcentre Plus at their centres in Neath and Port Talbot.

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Councillor Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture said: “As a council we are committed to giving every young person the best start in life so they can be the best they can be.”

“By providing additional support to those who are not actively looking for work or training opportunities, we can help to give them the confidence, guidance and employability skills they need to pursue a career of their choice. 

“I am delighted that we will be continuing to provide this much needed support through our KIT Team.”

Cam Nesa was a European Social Fund project that run between 2018 and 2021. It was led by Pembrokeshire County Council and delivered in partnership with Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot local authorities. 

(Lead image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com)

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Neath

Neath mother and sons dupe victims into investing over £300k in fraudulent business

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A Neath woman and her three sons were each sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to fifteen counts including Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, Obtaining Money by Deception and Fraud, following an investigation by the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit.

Audrey Osborne, 65, and her sons Gary Moore, 43, Clayton Moore, 46 and Ian Moore, 44 all from Neath, ran a mortgage brokerage business; Credence Finance Limited which they used to submit falsely declared income on mortgage applications then set up a property development company; Dreamscape Homes Ltd. This was used to deceive victims into investing money.

Shareholders of Dreamscape Homes Ltd were persuaded to invest under the premise that the company was building five, five-bedroom executive houses. These investors were later told that due to planning delays, the project had changed to a 21-property development. Victims invested a total of £307,975 into this, the majority of which was transferred into Audrey and her sons accounts as if it were their own.

Investors included a retired teacher who put in a portion of his retirement lump sum, another teacher who invested funds obtained because of a critical illness, and a couple looking to invest to help secure financial security for their children.

Another victim was convinced to take out a mortgage in their own name, for one of the plots owned by Dreamscape Homes Ltd. The victim was assured by Osborne and her sons that Dreamscape would cover the monthly repayments, but these quickly stopped.

Financial Investigator, Craig Brown said: “The sheer amount of financial frauds that this family conducted against a large number of victims, and over the course of five years have made this investigation complex.

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“The victims of these crimes were people with the best intentions, trying to make life better for themselves and their families, and Osborne and the Moore’s took advantage of this for their own financial gain.

“The Economic Crime Unit and I work very hard to unravel often very complex financial crimes, and I hope that our investigation shows that this kind of criminality will not go unnoticed.”

 

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