Welsh Government's Task and Finish Group's Final Report on Critical Care

3 July 2019

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine is very pleased to see the launch of the final report from the Welsh Government’s Task and Finish Group on Critical Care.

The key recommendations from the report are:

  • 24/7 critical care outreach across all secondary care hospitals
  • Development of post anaesthetic care units (PACU) in all hospitals which undertake high risk surgery; this can include elective and emergency patients
  • Better utilisation of the existing critical care workforce
  • Development/expansion of the critical care workforce to meet professional standards
  • Phased expansion of level 3 critical care beds prioritising hospitals which provide tertiary or specialist service
  • Development of a dedicated regional transfer teams for critically ill adults
  • Development of a Long Term ventilation (LTV) and weaning unit in South Wales
  • Development of a critical care outcome measures dashboard

We particularly note the outcomes of the workforce work stream, which includes recommendations to expand workforce across the multiprofessional team, improve patient flow to better utilise current team members, monitor and manage their wellbeing in order to retain them, and to consider advanced practice roles such as Advanced Critical Care Practitioners. We would fully endorse these.

“It has been very rewarding to work collaboratively with Welsh Government and the whole Task Force. Those actively seeking innovative and more standard solutions to gaps in critical care service provision in Wales were energised by Minister and NHS Wales’s recognition of the problem, and then putting in additional funding where Health Boards have felt unable to.”

Dr Jack Parry-Jones, FICM Workforce Lead and project lead on Long Term Ventilation Workstream

A news story  on the Welsh Government website explores how the funding will be allocated. It is positive that real funding is being matched to real issues and real solutions.

"The Welsh Government has shown true leadership in tackling the complex and increasing issue of providing forward thinking and sustainable critical care services, which, as the report itself notes, are needed increasingly worldwide.  When Jack Parry Jones, the Faculty’s Workforce Lead, and myself met last year with Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services, he and his team understood the precarious future facing critical care patients and their families.

I am glad to see that the Faculty’s own work, through our Welsh workforce engagement and our bed capacity research, has been part of the roadmap for this review and informed its outcomes.  I am also glad to see that our existing work on developing a framework for enhanced care services will assist in the implementation of one of the key work streams here.

The Welsh Government began this review with the smallest number of critical care beds per population of the four nations of the UK, though now looks ready to address this historical under provision.  The Faculty would see this review and the final report as a blueprint for the other nations of the UK to take forward their own reviews of critical care services, benefiting from the learning that has taken place both within this review and within the Faculty’s own work.

We urge the rest of the UK to embrace the findings of this report and manage these issues proactively rather than risk a return to the capacity and flow problems that so deeply impacted our patients and their families in the late 1990s."

Dr Carl Waldmann, FICM Dean

From left to right. Dr Carl Waldmann, Vaughan Gething, Dr Jack Parry-Jones


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