Hywel Dda University Health Board 'will represent local patients'

Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) is a joint full partner, representing the interests of local people, in a collaboration formed to modernise health, wealth and wellbeing of the whole of the south west Wales region.
It joins Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board and Swansea University to form ARCH - A Regional Collaboration for Health – spanning six local authority areas from Ceredigion to Bridgend.
Whilst still in the early days, ARCH is a world-class, visionary project, focused on keeping people healthy or better managing disease when they are ill.
It aims to modernise health care system set up more than 50 years ago to better meet the needs of the current population.
It will align business, research, academic and health sectors to promote research, training and skills, to deliver a vibrant health economy through investment and innovation and attract and retain a world class workforce.
It will do this through regional planning for a population footprint of one million, which provides opportunities and added value and scale of what can be achieved.
Hywel Dda UHB Chief Executive Steve Moore said: “For Hywel Dda, ARCH represents a potentially huge regional investment to support our vision of providing healthcare, such as treatments and diagnostic tests usually only available in hospital settings, closer to people’s homes; whilst maintaining our four main hospitals for those who are acutely unwell.
“Whilst the vision originated in the Swansea area, we are now a full partner and an integral part of the collaborative. It is up to us to ensure that the Hywel Dda population, including those in Mid Wales, benefit from this regional approach to improve the population’s health and improve the health services they receive, both in hospital and in the community.”
Kathryn Davies, Director of Commissioning, Therapies and Health Science for Hywel Dda UHB, is the organisation’s Executive lead for ARCH, and also leads the working group on precision and personalised medicine.
She said: “This is a really exciting project to be part of as together our organisations can create an environment in which world class science and research can flourish and where the region becomes a location of choice for clinical research and life science activity. This is all with the overarching aim to create a healthy economy with fewer people disadvantaged or living in poverty that in turn bolsters the wider health and wellbeing of our population.”
Partnership working is already at the heart of how Hywel Dda UHB develops its services and workforce. ARCH will complement further partnership work being driven forward with other universities in the health board area, as well as the Mid Wales Healthcare Collaborative, which is already working towards providing healthcare for more rural populations in the area.
Hywel Dda UHB is aligning its planning for future delivery of healthcare services to the Hywel Dda population with ARCH to fully capitalise on the opportunities offered and ensure the very best provision and access to care for local people.
The organisation will also share good practice that has already been developed in the Hywel Dda area with other partners, such as telehealth and telemedicine and integrated primary and community care services.
It does not affect current plans and provision for the care of women and children in the Hywel Dda area, nor provision of emergency care.
To read more about A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) please visit www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/863/opendoc/271222 

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