New partnership aims to improve region’s health care

Swansea University and Abertawe University Health Board (ABMU) have agreed to work even more closely to strengthen the region’s knowledge economy and improve the wellbeing of its population.

Swansea University LogoABMU



ABMU and the university have signed a collaboration deal to build on their long history of partnership over health matters.

VC and Andrew Davies ABMU signing April 2014University Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies (pictured right) said: “By working together more closely we can make a real difference to the long-term wellbeing of this region, attracting top people to clinical and research posts and providing the well-trained NHS staff of the future.”

ABMU Chairman, Professor Andrew Davies, (pictured left) said: "Developing the 'U' in ABMU is a priority for the Health Board. The contribution the University can make to improving health care for the communities we serve is immense.

“This ranges from training doctors, nurses and other health care professionals through to research and development in new, cutting edge surgery and medicines. It is only by closer working that we can create a new healthcare economy for the 21st century."

The ageing population is a priority issue for the NHS and it is hoped the collaboration will help to fill a number of ABMU clinical vacancies in health care of the elderly.

One plan is to develop the international reputation already held by the College of Human and Health Sciences for the work done by its Centre for Innovative Ageing on social care for the elderly.

ABMU and the university are both committed to research, innovation and health care education and the partnership aims to exceed the traditional University Hospital model by encouraging innovation.

The three-year plan, which came into force this week (April 7, 2014) identifies eight areas of collaboration to be driven forward by a new Partnership Board including research, teaching and economic development.

The Memorandum of Understanding states the partnership should aim to set an international standard for effective co-operation between a health service and its partner university to enable the region to achieve the highest standards of health care, research and training.

By looking forward, the two organisations believe they can attract internationally-renowned clinical academics, secure more research grants in emerging fields and use the results to deliver improved services.

The university aims to establish a wider range of post-graduate degrees to take advantage of the research environment of the health board and conduct more clinical trials.

Entrepreneurship, innovation and student placements across a wider area will be encouraged with a view to establishing a regional Life Science cluster of global significance.

The two bodies will use their closer partnership to forge other links. For instance Swansea University will join the Western Bay partnership which brings together ABMU and local authorities in Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea to develop a regional approach on health and social care.