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About Us

knot.jpgCwm Taf University Health Board is situated in the heart of South Wales just north of Cardiff, between the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park and the M4 motorway. The area is steeped in history, widely recognised across the UK and around the world as the driving force of the industrial revolution and the coal industry. Today, the challenge is to work together in health and social care, and with the strong third sector to look ahead, rather than backwards to build strong, dynamic, healthy and sustainable communities.

The area is reverting to its pre-industrial beauty and you’ll find a wide range of landscapes. Majestic mountains, country parks, forests, waterfalls, natural and man made lakes, which together with the built environment produces a unique and interesting region. There are many valleys in Wales, but nowhere is there such pride and passion, and nowhere will you find so warm a welcome as within Cwm Taf.


Cwm Taf Health Board was established on 1 October 2009 following the integration of the former Cwm Taf NHS Trust, Merthyr Tydfil Local Health Board and Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Health Board. Our Vision is to ‘Create Altogether Healthier Communities’ by aiming to prevent ill health, protect good health and promote better health’ through working with partners to provide services as locally as possible and reducing the need for hospital inpatient care wherever feasible. Acute, intermediate, community and mental health services are delivered across a network of Community Clinics, Health Centres and Community Hospitals supported by two District General Hospitals.

Cwm Taf Health Board was awarded university health board status in July 2013, officially becoming Cwm Taf University Health Board in December 2013.

Clinical services are managed through a number of clinically-led Divisions, each accountable to an Executive Director. Assistant Medical Directors lead triumvirate teams with support from Divisional Nurses and Divisional General Managers. Divisions are then split into directorates (for specific clinical areas) or into localities (for specific geographical areas) and are led also by a Clinical Director supported by a Head of Nursing and Directorate / Locality Manager.


Our area is made up of four localities – the Cynon Valley, Merthyr Tydfil, the Rhondda Valleys and the Taff Ely area. We are the second most densely populated Health Board in Wales, covering 3% of the landmass of Wales with approximately 289,400 people. When compared to the Welsh average there are over 3 times as many people per square km living here. Almost 81% of the population live in the Rhondda Cynon Taff Local Authority area and the remainder within the boundaries of Merthyr Tydfil. Services are also provided to the people of the South Powys, North Rhymney, North Cardiff and other adjacent health community areas. In addition, some specialist services are provided to the wider catchment area in South Wales.


The Health Board serves the most deprived population in Wales, as demonstrated by the lower life expectancy of residents and a consequent greater need for health care. Health expectancy is the lowest of all Health Boards in Wales and our population can expect to have up to six more years of disability than the Welsh average. This poor health means that we provide care for a greater proportion of people’s lives that there is a higher incidence of disease and that the prevalence of chronic conditions is higher than in all other Health Boards.


There is a risk that the current economic climate will increase the factors that adversely affect a person’s health; for example, lack of a job is associated with deterioration in health. Thus the health of our population could worsen.

Key statistics
Cwm Taf
Area size
20,779 km2
535 km2
Total population
Life expectancy at birth            
- males
- females
Persons per km2
% population from ethnic minority background (2001)
Total births
Total deaths
% lower super output area (LSOAs) in most deprived 5th of Wales

A fresh and exciting organisation, Cwm Taf Health Board has excellent services and amenities provided from the following

  • 2 District General Hospitals
  • 7 Community Hospitals
  • 51 GP practices
  • 30 salaried GPs directly employed by Health Board
  • 39 Dental practices
  • 42 Optometrist practices and a further 8 providing a domiciliary service
  • 77 Community pharmacists

Cwm Taf has a total income of around £600m and we employ more than 8,000 staff; staff turnover is the lowest in Wales. The value of property is around £300m and the value of equipment is over £20m.


As a result of the significant investment that has taken place over the last few years the Health Board’s estate is now the most modern in Wales. Key schemes have included the building and opening of a new 108 bed community hospital (Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda) in the Rhondda this year (2010).


Other projects in progress include the Ward Refurbishment Programme, Emergency Care Centre, the Renal Dialysis Unit and Day Surgery Unit at Prince Charles Hospital, the new hospital for the Cynon Valley (due to open next year 2011) and the recently approved business case to proceed with the long-awaited Merthyr Tydfil Health Park. All of these will significantly improve our ability to provide high quality local services.


Along with other Health Board in Wales we are facing significant financial challenges over the next few years. Plans are underway to model how services could be redesigned which include shifting provision from secondary care to primary care in line with ‘Setting the Direction’.


Useful Links


Key Public Health Information


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Last updated: 02 January 2014