Petition number: P-05-906

Petition title: Save Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital

Text of petition: We the undersigned call on the Welsh Government, being the ultimate body responsible for the provision of health care in Wales, to stop the proposal of the Cardiff & Vale UHB to close the Sam Davies Ward, a 23 bedded older persons acute rehabilitation ward at the Barry Hospital, and to ensure that the Barry Hospital continues to provide Health Services to the public of Barry the largest Town in Wales.

Additional Information: The Sam Davies Ward is a 23 bedded older persons acute rehabilitation ward. The services include stroke rehabilitation, orthopaedic rehabilitation, and medical rehabilitation amongst other key health services. The ward also has two respite beds.


Background information

The Sam Davies ward is based at Barry Hospital and has 23 beds which provide ongoing assessment and interventions for older patients, mainly from the Vale of Glamorgan. The ward has 2 respite beds (for patients who meet the criteria for Continuing Healthcare), and receives referrals from the community as well as the other sites.

The ward is usually occupied by elderly patients who have been transferred from University Hospital of Wales or University Hospital Llandough at the point at which they no longer require acute hospital inpatient care. Patients transferred to Sam Davies ward have been identified as not yet ready to return home and therefore require a ’step down’ bed or support for further recovery and discharge planning. Most patients transferred to Sam Davies ward will have supported/complex discharge planning needs. 

The ward was the first service organisation to win a Carer Friendly Silver award.

In September 2019 Cardiff and Vale UHB started an engagement process on its proposals ‘for improving the care for frail older people in the Vale of Glamorgan’. 

The proposals adopt the principles of quicker assessment, quicker discharge and ongoing care needs in the community which will reduce the need for a hospital stay. Part of the proposal will consider the option of reducing the number of beds in Barry Hospital through the closure of Sam Davies Ward. Patients will then receive their care at either University Hospital Llandough or closer to home, with appropriate levels of clinical resource.  

The Health Board says this is part of the Health Board’s strategy Shaping Our Future Wellbeing, which has seen significant investment in primary and community services to increase the support available to keep people living well at home and within the local community.

The Health Board has produced an engagement document, an equality and health impact assessment, and a frequently asked questions document on its proposals which state:

Patients that arrive at Sam Davies ward will have already spent a considerable amount of time in hospital. They will have received assessments in an acute hospital and may often experience duplicate care assessments by different healthcare professionals. Their care needs may have been over-prescribed, as we see patients at ‘their worst’ in hospital so care needs can appear greater, and more significantly, their length of stay in hospital will have been increased. This can directly lead to clinical deconditioning for many patients, increasing their frailty and overall poor health, which can affect their longer term care needs.

In February 2018, we carried out an audit which told us that 69% of patients on Sam Davies ward were medically fit for discharge, and no longer needed an acute hospital bed for their needs. Looking more closely at the patient data we identified missed opportunities to discharge patients home and through transferring patients to Sam Davies ward, we had in fact increased the patients’ length of stay. A repeat audit in February 2019 showed similar results.

The proposed pathway of care for frail older patients means that there will be more appropriate ways of meeting the needs of these patients which will avoid them having long and unnecessary stays in hospital. It will also mean their individual needs will be met more appropriately closer to home or in the community.  

The Health Board says the proposals will help improve independence and mobility, and offer better opportunities for patients to recover more quickly and to return home in a more timely fashion with appropriate support in the community.

The consultation closes on 1 November and the engagement document says the Health Board’s next steps will be to:

§  Share the responses received with the South Glamorgan Community Health Council (CHC)

§  Consider the responses received and write a report summarising the feedback and recommending a way forward

§  Liaise with the CHC to consider the outcome of the engagement exercise and the way forward

§  Publicise the outcome of engagement exercise by the end of November 2019

§  Confirm final proposals reflecting feedback from engagement, and agree next steps, including whether any further engagement or consultation is required.

Welsh Government’s response

The Minister for Health and Social Services states that Cardiff and Vale University Heath Board is responsible for the provision and delivery of safe and sustainable health care services on behalf its local population, within the resources available.  To achieve this the Health Board has developed new models of care to support patients in receiving their care as close to home as possible, or at the University Hospital Llandough for those with more complex needs.

As part of their ‘Shaping Our Future Well-being Strategy’ the Health Board has proposed changes to the way services for frail older people are delivered.  This includes the closure of the Sam Davies Ward in Barry Hospital with the introduction of more community based services to support patients. 

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has started a public engagement exercise setting out proposed changes to the way it will deliver services for frail older people.  Information on the proposals is available on their website and a public workshop was held on 23 September.  The local Community Health Council will also be able to provide further information.  The Health Board has invited views and feedback on the proposals by Friday 1 November 2019. 

It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the proposals at this time.