Celebrating inspiring Bevan Exemplar innovations that are transforming health and care

Bevan Exemplars are health and care staff from across NHS Wales who are supported by the Bevan Commission to develop and test their own innovative and prudent ideas.


They do this over and above their day job, showing a real commitment at the frontline to transform the quality of health and care for everyone across Wales.


Over 12 months the Commission has supported 37 excellent projects that have improved health and care, patient experiences and demonstrated the best use of skills and resources.


This takes the overall number of successful projects delivered since the Exemplars programme was established in 2015 to over 200 – all of which are making a real difference at grass roots level whether in primary care, the community or hospitals across all areas of Wales.


The projects will be shared at today’s event which will be attended by more than 150 people including NHS leaders, Assembly Members, frontline health and care professionals and academic researchers.


The First Minister for Wales Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM and Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething AM will be attending the event to share their personal congratulations to the Exemplars.


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.


“It’s been clear to the Bevan Commission for some time that the major challenges faced by the NHS calls for thinking and doing things differently.


“Our Exemplars have taken the time, commitment and courage to do just that, putting their heads above the parapet to drive through ambitious projects that make a real difference to patient experiences and health outcomes.”


The Bevan Commission believes that it is the people in the system and those who use it who are best placed to make changes that will deliver improved quality and sustainable health and care.


Projects in the cohort have produced some inspirational changes such as:

  • developing a programme in partnership with patients, NHS educators and Continence Nurse Specialists (CNS) to help people with incontinence, support early intervention, prevent long-term complications and unplanned admissions to hospital (Hywel Dda University Health Board)

  • developing an app that was designed following patient feedback, to guide patients who have had breast or axillary surgery for breast cancer through exercises aiming to maintain shoulder function and allow them to get into position for radiotherapy. This has led to a decrease in urgent referrals to physiotherapy (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)

  • improving safeguarding of patients in primary care by developing a group to share best practice, to prevent harm through early intervention and promoting wellbeing (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board)

  • transforming the care of the walking wounded by developing a trauma ambulatory care unit that enables patients to be treated safely and appropriately on the same day, avoiding admission to a hospital bed (Cardiff and Vale University Health Board)

Professor Nick Rich, from Swansea University School of Management, provided an independent evaluation of the programme, which demonstrated an 84% success rate for projects, which compares favourably to a 30% success rate for equivalent change or innovation projects in NHS England.


His evaluation also showed that 96% of the Exemplar’s ideas were considered innovative and 96% of the projects were totally aligned to Welsh Government objectives and prudent healthcare.


First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “The Bevan Exemplars programme is leading the way in supporting innovative projects throughout the health service in Wales.


“The ongoing success of the programme shows the value it brings to people in Wales and how our long-term plan for health and social care – A Healthier Wales – is being made a reality.”


Find out more about the Bevan Exemplar projects by watching our video, reading our poster compendium  and evaluation report.


A list of all 37 projects is included below as an Appendix.

Appendix 1

Bevan Exemplar projects by health board area;

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

  • delivering education on the safety of long-term steroid therapy to prevent unnecessary mortality, morbidity and hospital attendances

  • improving safe guarding practices in primary care

  • training for mental health practitioners to develop formulation skills to support the co-production of mental health treatment for young people

  • engaging with young asthmatic patients at a GP surgery to encourage the use of an app to support basic care and self-management of the condition

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

  • improving children’s health literacy and resilience

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

  • transforming the care of the walking wounded by developing a trauma ambulatory care unit that enables patients to be treated safely and appropriately on the same day, avoiding admission to a hospital bed

  • developing an electronic form to capture data on myeloma patients in Wales, to develop an electronic health record for cancer patients.

  • measuring the impact of Speech and Language Therapy for children with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties

  • using virtual reality headsets to create a digital café for patients with Cystic Fibrosis to socialise and undertake group therapies

  • designing an App to guide patients though exercises following breast or axillary surgery, to maintain shoulder function and enable them to get into position for radiotherapy

  • setting up a virtual clinic for people with Parkinson’s disease using wearable technology

  • improving the quality and safety of IV feeds

  • introducing an interactive online interpreter and training staff in basic British Sign Language to improve the healthcare experience for people from the deaf community

  • introducing a model ward for nutrition and hydration

  • developing minimally invasive treatment for patients with enlarged prostates

  • using smart ECG monitors in the development of the prescribing pharmacist role to improve the early detection of Atrial Fibrillation (an irregular heart beat that increases the risk of stroke

  • introducing a tool to facilitate the removal of polyps and improve patient experience

  • developing medicines management support for recently discharged patients

  • using a specialist prescribing pharmacist to initiate bone protection treatment following identification of osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

  • creating partnership between healthcare students, primary school children and health board to help older people learn about healthy ageing and reducing risk of falls.

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Heath Board

  • in partnership with Alpha Laboratories, implementing a new laboratory-based technology to guide referral for colorectal cancer in symptomatic adult patients in primary care

Hywel Dda University Health Board

  • introducing a peer-led education programme for people living with continence problems.

  • involving patients, carers and staff in role redesign

Hywel Dda University Health Board and Public Health Wales

  • taking a collaborative approach to reducing antimicrobial resistance in Hywel Dda

NHS Wales Informatics Service

  • developing National Clinical Information Standards for Cardiology

Swansea Bay University Health Board

  • introducing Patient Digital Information Hubs to provide up to date information to patients as an alternative to leaflets.

  • developing a Staff Wellbeing Advice and Support Service

Velindre University NHS Trust

  • using virtual reality technology to deliver mandatory training for the nursing workforce at Velindre Cancer Centre.

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

  • identifying cost savings and efficiency improvements for defibrillators.

  • developing a decision tool to support care home staff to identify if a person can be safely assisted up following a fall, minimising their time spent on the floor.

Wales Co-operative Centre in collaboration with Carmarthenshire County Council, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Hywel Dda University Health Board

  • introducing digital companions to support older people lacking confidence in using digital health services.

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