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NHS Wales Secures £3.4m to Develop an Imaging Academy

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The NHS Wales Health Collaborative has secured £3.4m of Welsh Government funding, on behalf of NHS Wales, to develop an Imaging Academy in Pencoed, near Bridgend.

Based at the Pencoed Business Park, the innovative 16,500 sq ft site will provide a dedicated environment to train radiologists and imaging professionals.

Work will now begin to create the new National Imaging Academy of Wales, which will be hosted by Cwm Taf University Health Board, and will be fully operational by mid-2018. The Welsh Government has provided £3.4m of funding to create this centre of excellence.

Independent commercial property specialist Cooke & Arkwright has been retained to provide strategic advice on the refit of the building. The firm is being tasked with putting together a design specification for the construction tender process.

The award-winning property firm has a long history with the building, having previously acquired the site over 12 years ago for Sanken Power Systems (UK) Ltd. The firm also project managed the construction for the electronics company and advised on the recent sale of the building to Cwm Taf University Health Board.

The Academy will feature state-of-the-art workstation classrooms, a fully functioning ultrasound suite, simulation training and a lecture theatre.

Seminars and supervision for trainees on medical image interpretation such as X-rays, CT and MRI examinations will be provided by Consultant Radiologists from across South Wales.

It will also enable trainees to access NHS Wales’ Health Board medical imaging studies without having to physically be at a hospital site, thereby improving trainee and trainer time efficiency.

Consultant Radiologist and Clinical Lead for the Academy, Dr Phillip Wardle, said:

“We are extremely pleased to have recently signed contracts to enable us to create this innovative Academy. It will play a significant role in the training of future radiologists and other imaging professionals, enabling an increase in the number of trainees in Wales which will significantly benefit diagnostics services for patients in NHS Wales.”

Tim Lawley, Associate Director with the Office and Industrial Agency at Cooke & Arkwright, said:

“Having originally purchased the site over 10 years ago for Sanken Power Systems, we are delighted to now be able to use our knowledge and experience of the building to provide strategic advice for the re-fit process.

“Radiologists play a vital role in interpreting X-rays, CT and MRI scans and help in diagnosing cancer and this Academy will therefore be hugely beneficial to patients in Wales.

“We’re looking forward to working with the NHS Wales Health Collaborative National Imaging Academy Development team and Cwm Taf University Health Board to communicate its design specifications to contractors, and to seeing the results further down the line.”

The NHS Wales Health Collaborative is an effective resource supporting pan-Wales NHS trust and board chief executives to deliver recommendations to enable more effective joint working in NHS Wales.