University and Hywel Dda Health Board cement relationship

Universities in West Wales and Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) have further cemented their relationships for the benefit of the health and well-being of local people by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding this week.

The formality of a signed agreement recognises the commitment by partners to co-operate in a broad range of areas, working together for mutual benefit.

Representatives from Aberystwyth University, Hywel Dda UHB, Swansea University and University of Wales Trinity Saint David signed the agreement on Monday (16 November).

Chairing a meeting of the University Partnership Board, Professor John Gammon, also Independent Member of Hywel Dda UHB and Deputy Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University, said: “This recognises and formalises an agreement between us all to seek to encourage and develop collaborative activities in various ways, from the exchange of scholarly ideas, collaboration on research and development, workforce and organisational development,  and innovation for specific programmes and projects.

“I am sure that by utilising the best of what each of us can offer, we will be successful in enabling the region to achieve the highest standards of health, medical care, research, innovation and health care education and training.”

The aim is for the organisations to be forward looking and to build a culture across all which:

  • promotes quality improvement across all activities;
  • is rich in educational activities and staff development opportunities;
  • helps attract and retain the very best staff, including internationally leading clinical academics;
  • facilitates research grant capture by clinicians and academics and the translation of research findings into practice;
  • encourages innovation and modernisation;
  • encourages multi-disciplinary work and access to new and emergent fields of research and evidence based practice;
  • encourages applications of research for commercial product development, and
  • facilitates wealth creation in the region and beyond
  • supports the capture and analysis of patient experience
  • develops SAIL (Secure Anonymised Information Linkage) and health informatics opportunities to achieve their potential
  • Steve Moore Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB said: “Whilst not a legally binding agreement, this memorandum of understanding is a clear endorsement from our organisations to work together, and hopefully an enabler for staff across our organisations to pool their ideas and resources where there is mutual benefit. All this is driven by the need for all partners to pursue improvement together for the health, wellbeing, education and wealth of local patients and the population.”

Universities and health board cement relationshipPictured left: Jane Davidson from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Professor Hilary Lapin Scott, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, and Hywel Dda University Health Board CEO Steve Moore. 

Professor Chris Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Aberystwyth University said: “As part of the community in mid-Wales, Aberystwyth University can make an important contribution to improved health and well-being in rural areas, particularly through research. We look forward to developing the partnership with Hywel Dda Health Board and universities in the region to contribute to this important mission.”

Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott, Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Swansea University, added: “We are delighted to have established this memorandum of understanding with the Hywel Dda Health Board and partners. By combining our resources and areas of expertise, it will enable us to achieve the highest standard of healthcare and well-being for local people.”

Dr Jane Davidson, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) said: “The UWTSD Group includes Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion - as a dual sector group the University has campuses in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion.  This means that UWTSD is well placed to work with key partners to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities in West Wales.  Already, the University’s collaboration with Hywel Dda UHB and partners has enabled us to work together to tackle real issues facing people in rural communities, in particular.  This agreement will bring together key partners to benefit the whole region.”

It is hoped, through the Memorandum of Understanding and related activity; the region will become a national and international exemplar for effective strategic and operational collaboration between the health service and its partner universities.

The formality is now in place for three years, and should also support the health board in retaining its University status, which is paramount for attracting medical recruitment and investment into research and development in the area.