Hywel Dda University Health Board has a symbiotic partnership with Swansea University with a strong tradition of collaboration and alignment of strategic priorities between the two.

Through the development of the University Partnership Board, relationships have strengthened with Swansea University and other partner Universities, to deliver prudent healthcare, ensure workforce flexibility and to promote the fluidity of staff across regions and organisational boundaries. Underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding, the University Partnership Board provides the governance framework for strategic intentions and delivery plans for research, education and innovation to be at the heart of decision-making processes.

The University Health Board (UHB) has traditionally maintained strong links with Swansea University, particularly with the College of Human and Health Sciences and the School of Medicine, but there has been increasing collaboration with Swansea’s School of Management and College of Engineering. A key component of the Nursing Midwifery and Allied Health Professional Research and Development Strategy and Action Plan has been developed as a joint endeavour between the University Health Board and Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences.

The UHB works closely with its existing research partners, and proactively seeks new collaborative partnerships, to continuously develop joint research leadership, skills, and support mechanisms. Strong relationships between the UHB and Swansea University have driven innovative developments in research, which have seen benefits to individual patients and the wider population.

A post-registration nursing contract is in place with Swansea University, supporting a range of clinical development, including work based support programmes and undergraduate nursing qualifications from the College of Human and Health Sciences. Staff also access degrees and higher degrees in a range of disciplines and are empowered to put this learning into practice.

The UHB and Swansea University have also developed the Certificate in Healthcare, initially to support the development of Healthcare Support Workers (HCSWs) into Assistant Practitioners.

The UHB’s aim is to develop a culture where research and innovation is core organisational activity. Swansea University are key partners in creating an innovation-friendly environment which encourages and assists individuals to use their skills, knowledge and ideas.

This innovation creates opportunities which meet the needs of the population within Hywel Dda.

This is demonstrated through a number of key collaborative endeavours, including: A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH)

The ARCH collaborative between the Hywel Dda University Health Board, Swansea University and Abertawe Bro Morganwwg University Health Board is an ambitious programme designed to harness the resources of the three partners. It involves health and science working together to improve the health, wealth, and wellbeing of the people of South West Wales. ARCH aims to generate improved health, skills and economic outcomes.

It is also working with social care, voluntary and other public bodies to develop a whole-systems approach to further these aims.