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NHS innovators in Wales celebrated at national showcase

25th Jan 2019

Bevan Exemplars presented pioneering health and care projects at the Senedd

Health and care professionals who trial and test out innovative ideas on the frontline of the NHS shared their work at a showcase event at the Senedd - National Assembly for Wales on 24 January, sponsored by Dawn Bowden AM.

More than 40 Bevan Exemplars were supported over 12 months by the Bevan Commission to turn prudent healthcare principles into action in hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes and communities across Wales.

Projects in the 2017 -18 cohort of Bevan Exemplars have produced inspirational outcomes, including:

  • Making it quicker and easier for cancer patients to access radiotherapy treatment;
  • Saving a struggling GP surgery through upskilling staff and transforming patient engagement;
  • And using community paramedics to treat people at home and avoid hospital admissions.

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, gave a keynote address at the event which was attended by over 150 NHS leaders, Assembly Members, frontline health and care professionals, academic researchers and more.

The First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM, attended the event and extended his congratulations to the 2017-18 cohort of Bevan Exemplars for their important work.

Professor Nick Rich (Swansea University School of Management) provided an overview of his independent evaluation of the programme, demonstrating a 75% success rate for projects, which compares favourably to a 30% success rate for equivalent change or innovation projects in NHS England.

The evaluation also found that Bevan Exemplar projects focused on ‘big picture transformation’ in order to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in the NHS, such as workforce deployment and managing an ageing population.

Many of the Bevan Exemplar projects in the 2017-18 cohort have also won national acclaim, including RCGP Bright Ideas Awards, NHS Wales Awards and MediWales Innovation Awards.

Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “The Bevan Exemplars programme is leading the way in supporting innovative projects across NHS Wales.

Its success is testament to the dedication of the staff involved, who consistently rise to the challenge to seek out new opportunities to drive change and transformation as part of a recognised national network. This crucial work is helping to support our vision in ‘A Healthier Wales’ and is resulting in improved patient outcomes and experiences.”

Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of the Bevan Commission, said: “We are proud to showcase the work of our Bevan Exemplars, who are turning radical ideas into reality to improve the health and well-being of the people of Wales.

The NHS needs radical transformational change – not small improvements – and these frontline health and care professionals are putting their heads above the parapet to drive through ambitious projects that make a real difference to patient experiences and health outcomes. We are now calling for NHS Wales to ensure that these innovative initiatives are adopted and implemented Wales-wide.” 

The Bevan Commission, hosted and supported by Swansea University School of Management, is Wales’ leading think tank for health and care and has supported over 140 Bevan Exemplar projects across Wales to date.

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