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Innovation Scheme Launches to Transform Health and Care Services in Wales

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Bevan Commission Exemplars Programme enrols 47 health and care staff with new ideas for greener and more sustainable health and care.

A number of innovative projects designed to improve health and care for people across Wales are getting a boost as part of the Bevan Commission’s Exemplars Programme – a 12-month scheme to support health and care staff to develop and test new ideas.

This year the Bevan Commission, Wales’ leading health and care think tank, is supporting ideas that address the need for a sustainable and prudent recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Exemplar Programme works in collaboration with Health Boards and NHS Trusts to equip their staff with specialist skills and leadership development to deliver improved systems for preventing, diagnosing and treating illness and managing health and care needs. The Exemplar innovations are then shared across Wales to encourage further adoption and spread.

Bevan Commission Director, Helen Howson, said:

“We are proud and excited to be supporting such a wide range of new and different ideas and innovations from people working in health and care across Wales. We hope these will help deliver greener and more sustainable health, reduce waste, connect communities, and address the backlog.

“Yet at such a critical time for our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, new ideas offer only a small part of the solution. It is the people in the system who put in the hard work to turn those ideas into practical solutions for people in need of care, delivering more prudent and improved quality-of-care right across our villages, towns and cities.”

The 47 projects supported in this year’s Exemplars programme include:

  • reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of care for respiratory illness in Cardiff, such as identifying and prescribing low-impact inhalers for asthma sufferers,
  • reducing the post-Covid backlog in children with orthopaedic conditions who are waiting for initial assessment in Neath Port Talbot by piloting an approach to upskill existing staff,
  • improving wellbeing in family members of brain injury patients in Carmarthenshire and reducing their reliance on specialist healthcare services by developing an online group therapy package,
  • collaboratively designing new wellness services with disadvantaged communities in Wrexham which are designed around their needs,
  • in a first for Wales, treating anxiety in military veterans in Monmouthshire by using virtual reality headsets.

Now in its seventh year, the Exemplars programme has so far supported 250 innovation projects across Wales. It has delivered numerous benefits to people and patients and increased capacity and confidence for change and innovation in primary care, in the community and in hospitals.