Fast track Bevan Exemplar projects transform health and care during the pandemic


Innovative projects that have helped to improve health and care for people across Wales during the pandemic are being showcased by the Bevan Commission in an online event tomorrow (Wednesday, June 30, 2021).

Despite an extremely challenging year, 24 Bevan Exemplar projects were delivered by health and care staff that made a difference to services, patient outcomes and experiences.

From tackling the backlog of patients on waiting lists, to promoting the use of video-based physiotherapy, the Bevan Exemplars developed and adapted a number of prudent ideas to offer solutions to the challenges presented by and resulting from Covid-19.

And they did it in record time – testing out their innovations and delivering change with the support of the Commission in just six months.

Bevan Commission Director Helen Howson said, “I am really proud of this inspiring group of Bevan Exemplars who answered a call to come up with new ways of working that would directly help health and care services during the pandemic.

“Their achievements show that improvement and innovation is strong in Wales as is the commitment of our staff in delivering such excellent results in the face of adversity and on top of their day jobs.

“This is a time when we need innovative solutions more than ever and the showcase is a great opportunity to not only celebrate their success but to encourage the adoption and spread of their work across the rest of Wales.”

The Bevan Exemplar Innovation Showcase will take place from 9.30am – 5.30pm and will consist of eight sessions, each with a mix of projects from all seven health boards in Wales. The sessions are free to attend and tickets can be booked here Bevan Exemplar Showcase 2021 | Bevan Commission

Projects include;

· Re-designing physiotherapy outpatient services by listening to patients and staff about their experiences during Covid-19 and what changes should stay and go (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board)

· Improving support and outcomes for people with chronic pain, and reducing waiting times, by integrating the Education Programme for Patients into the referral process (Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board)

· Supporting people with dementia to adjust to the changes due to Covid-19 restrictions and get back out into their communities with a series of films called Get There Together (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)

· Developing a waiting list support service to ensure patients were proactively and compassionately communicated with, including offering support and advice for their condition (Hywel Dda University Health Board).

A full list of the projects is available on the Commission website.

Professor Nick Rich, from Swansea University School of Management, who undertook the evaluation of the Bevan Exemplars during the fast track programme, said the projects showed that the NHS can adapt and deliver change at pace that makes a real difference.

He said, “The pandemic has served as a catalyst to the Bevan Exemplars who have taken the opportunity, despite the challenges, to deliver transformational improvements to health and care.

“The level of change is significant and shows a real spirit in staff to tackle the sticky issues that have prevented improvement in more stable time periods.

“This has been an exceptional programme for the Exemplars and their health boards and now we must build on this by spreading the work across Wales to help a sustainable recovery for our health and care services from Covid-19.”

The Bevan Commission established the Exemplar programme in 2015 to support people in the system and those who use it, to make changes that support prudent health care to deliver more innovative and sustainable solutions.

The Exemplars are supported throughout the usual year long programme with peer learning, tailored workshops and training, and mentoring.

Since the programme began, more than 200 projects have been tested, all of which are making a real difference in primary care, the community and hospitals.

Further work has also been carried out by the Bevan Commission to support the widespread adoption and spread of Bevan Exemplar innovations across Wales during the pandemic.

Note to editors: The Bevan Commission, hosted and supported by Swansea University, provides independent, authoritative advice on health and care to the Welsh Government and leaders in NHS Wales, the UK and beyond. For further information visit

Appendix: Bevan Exemplar Projects

Here’s a full list of the 24 Bevan Exemplar projects by each health board – please visit the webpage for more information or contact the Bevan Commission.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

· The Physiotherapy Diaries: Using coproduction to aid post COVID-19 Outpatient Service Design

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

· Making it easier to get treated for Sexually Transmitted Infections

· Chronic pain management resource development and evaluation

· Healthy start vitamins in North Wales: increasing accessibility for eligible families

· Domestic abuse occupational therapy: a project in response to Covid-19

· Reducing blood sampling in the ICU

· Improving the counselling and delivery of postnatal contraception

· Validation of rapid gene test to guide treatment options for certain cancer patients whose diagnosis may have been delayed by Covid 19

· Virtual pain management programme for osteoarthritis patients waiting for surgery

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

· The OMNIUM Centre: helping people with pelvic pain

​· My Parkinson’s’; development of an app

· Get there together – a resource to support the people with dementia

Cwm Taf University Health Board

· PhysioNow: a digital physiotherapy solution

· Children’s SKIN Matters

Hywel Dda University Health Board

· Recovery through activity: an online occupational therapy intervention across Wales

· Transfer of care and liaison service preventative screening project

· Increasing time spent at home, well and independent – a new campaign improving whole system unscheduled care

· ‘Mind over Food’ – 8-week online psychology group to help people living with obesity overcome barriers to change

· Waiting List Support Service Project

· Virtual Covid-19 Ward

Swansea Bay University Health Board

· Early Years Autism Assessment Toolkit and Pathway Project

Powys Teaching Health Board

· NHS Green Bees : reducing waste and carbon emissions

· Digital support for non-clinical staff to promote the use of virtual consultations