BCUHB Update - March 2024
BCUHB Update - March 2024


The Health Board has provided an update on its ongoing progress. Please see below the latest update from Monday 11th March 2024:


International recruitment success

You may have recently seen news of a successful initiative between the Welsh Government and the Government of Kerala, to bring qualified healthcare professionals from India to work in NHS Wales.


We’re very pleased to be playing an ongoing role in this ethical international recruitment effort, which has seen nurses from our Health Board visit Kerala to support in-country recruitment events.


These have resulted in 11 internationally educated nurses being appointed during our first recruitment event in Kerala in May 2023, with a further 23 appointed following a second visit in November 2023.


It has long been recognised that recruiting internationally can play an important role in reducing vacancy gaps, alongside investment in the education and training of homegrown healthcare professionals here in North Wales. The Wales-Kerala initiative has enabled the development of an end-to-end direct recruitment model which has reduced the reliance on commercial recruitment agencies, ensuring a more financially sustainable approach to international recruitment.


To date we have deployed 19 internationally educated nurses from Kerala here in North Wales and expect to deploy a further 15 by the end of April 2024. We have also offered posts to two Senior Clinical Fellows and three specialty doctors.


Home birth service reinstated across North Wales

Following a careful review carried out with the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST), we are pleased to confirm the reintroduction of our Home Birth Service. The service was temporarily removed in July 2022, due to sustained pressures on the health system, which impacted on our neonatal unit capacity and our WAST colleagues’ ability to respond in a timely manner to planned home births, where an emergency transfer to hospital was required.


Improvements in neonatal staff recruitment and WAST emergency response times for the most urgent maternity calls mean that we are once again able to actively offer expectant mums the option of a home birth, where appropriate.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation, together with our WAST colleagues, to ensure that the home birth service provides a positive and safe experience for women, their babies and families.


Innovative support model helps more Anglesey mums and babies breastfeed for longer

A first-of-its-kind community support service is helping more Anglesey mums and their babies breastfeed for longer.


Sessions run by the unique Bronfwydo Môn project offer specialist backing for mothers and their babies, and have already played a major part in increasing rates of breastfeeding on the island.


It is the first service in Wales to offer local, expert breastfeeding support from highly-trained lactation consultants at open access sessions backed by a GP cluster.


Of the 140 mothers who attended during the project’s first year, more than eight in ten breastfed their child exclusively for six months or more. In total, rates of breastfeeding on Anglesey at six weeks of age have risen by 3%, while the number of mums breastfeeding their child at six months has climbed 7%.


Breastfeeding mums say they attend sessions because they offer practical, face-to-face support without an appointment – as well as a valuable opportunity to meet and socialise with others.


The team behind Bronfwydo Môn are now exploring ways to expand the approach to other areas of North Wales – including Arfon, where a short pilot programme supported by Cyngor Gwynedd’s early years transformation fund will run until the end of March. You can read more about this initiative, as well as the widespread breastfeeding support available throughout North Wales on our website.


Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee

Last week our Chair, Dyfed Edwards and Chief Executive, Carol Shillabeer, provided evidence to the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, where they answered questions from Senedd Members and delivered a candid assessment of the improvements made during the Health Board’s first 12 months in special measures, as well as the significant amount of work that is still required to get to where we need to be.


You can view a recording of the session, as well as written evidence submitted by the Health Board on the Senedd website here.


Local Health Conversations

We will be out and about in the coming year, talking with people in our local communities about what matters to them.

As well as updates on local and health board wide issues, there will be plenty of opportunity to talk with members of the Health Board, get your blood pressure checked, chat with teams who support dementia services, stroke services, cardiology services and many more.

Do please come along. These are drop in sessions and there is no need to book. We are planning lots more throughout the year across the whole of North Wales and will update this page with the dates and locations.

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