Three Betsi Cadwaladr UHB Teams Make the Shortlist for NHS Wales Awards 2024

Three Betsi Cadwaladr UHB Teams have been shortlisted for the Prestigious NHS Wales Awards, ahead of the ceremony later this year.

Image Credit: Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

The Welsh Language Team has been shortlisted in the NHS Wales Equitable Care Award category for their efforts in promoting bilingual services on hospital wards. Their Welsh Language Choice Scheme equips staff with tools to identify patients and visitors who prefer to communicate in Welsh. Upon arrival for inpatient care, patients are asked their language preference. Orange magnets and stickers are then used in patients’ notes and on bedside boards to identify those who prefer speaking Welsh.

Eleri Hughes Jones, Head of Welsh Language Services at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. The scheme was implemented to actively offer services to patients in their preferred language, normalizing language-appropriate care across the Health Board. It is encouraging that the staff’s efforts to bring this scheme to fruition are being acknowledged and commended on a national level.”

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons, Mr. Edwin Jesudason from Ysbyty Gwynedd and Mr. Preetham Kodumuri from Wrexham Maelor Hospital, have been shortlisted in the NHS Wales Efficient Care Award category for relocating minor day case surgeries to a dedicated outpatient area in the hospitals. The Minor Operating Rooms have significantly reduced the waiting list for hand surgery, which had grown considerably since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Preetham Kodumuri, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “By moving minor hand surgical procedures outside main theatres, we have successfully increased theatre productivity, improved patient satisfaction, and reduced waiting times within our orthopaedic department. We wish to thank the Bevan Commission and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare for their support.”

Mr. Edwin Jesudason, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Ysbyty Gwynedd, added: “It is a great honour for our team to be shortlisted for this award. Moving operations out of the theatre environment into an outpatient facility uses fewer resources, reduces stress for our patients, and improves productivity without compromising patient safety. We have also demonstrated a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of minor hand operations, helping us reduce waiting times.”

“This is just the start of working towards a comprehensive decarbonisation strategy for surgical care in Wales. I’d like to thank many colleagues who contributed to this important work, and our local hospital Green groups for their support.”

A joint initiative between the Health Board, Public Health Wales, and the Hepatitis C Trust is also nominated for the NHS Team Culture Award. In a recent programme, 100% of prisoners were offered a test, 90% of men were tested, and 90% of those diagnosed with hepatitis C started treatment, achieving micro-elimination in HMP Berwyn. This was accomplished by making testing routine, with rapid tests offered within days of arrival and swift treatment for those in need.

Elizabeth Hurry, Pharmacist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Hepatitis C is easily cured by 8-12 weeks of oral treatment, preventing future complications such as cirrhosis. We want to ensure every prisoner has the chance to be tested and treated if necessary.

“This was a fantastic team effort from pharmacists, nurses, Hepatitis C Trust peers, Public Health Wales, and prisoner peers. HMP Berwyn, the UK’s largest prison, presented unique challenges. The team has worked tirelessly over the past few years to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and implement a streamlined pathway for testing and treatment. We are very proud to be shortlisted for this award.”

The winners will be announced at the NHS Wales Awards 2024 ceremony on 24 October.