New report captures NHS Wales learnings and innovation in response to pandemic

Report captures learnings and innovative practice emerging from across NHS Wales in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liv Baker

22 June 2021

A new report examining learning and innovative practice that has emerged from across NHS Wales in response to COVID-19 has been released today by Swansea University, on behalf of NHS Wales organisations and partners.

The NHS Wales COVID-19 Innovation and Transformation Study Report highlights emerging findings and learnings on why NHS organisations and staff could and did innovate in the face of the pandemic and outlines some next steps.

Over 1,000 responses to five studies and surveys were obtained from a broad cross-section of staff, in addition to a further five published reports from across the health and care sector in Wales. The responses and analysis have formed a broad evidence base for new and innovative practice that has emerged.

Themes and learning highlighted within the report include improved digital access, accelerated decision-making, sustaining the pace of innovation and change and staff wellbeing.

Given the renewed focus on NHS recovery, the report will act as a basis for change in service delivery in a post-Covid world.

A set of supporting case studies have been published alongside the report.

Andrew Goodall, Director General for Health and Social Services and Chief Executive of the NHS Wales, said: “Our response to COVID-19 has accelerated the implementation of many areas of A Healthier Wales - our long-term plan for health and care. As we continue into the challenging times ahead and the stabilisation and reconstruction of our services, we have an opportunity to build on the innovative examples in this report and ensure our new ways of working become firmly embedded in our healthcare system.”

Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, said:This report will enable NHS leaders to reflect upon and embed learning and innovation across the service, accelerating change to improve the way health and care services in Wales are delivered. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated what is achievable through cross-sector working, with integrated policies for health and social care. As we embark on a journey of recovery, we hope the report will serve as a springboard for action and service improvement across health and care in Wales.”

Tom James, Assistant Director of Innovation, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said: “From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen so many health and care staff taking instinctive action to quickly and innovatively respond to new circumstances, adding significant new value. Our project team have captured a huge range of novel practice and learning through the COVID-19 Innovation Study, to provide open access to this knowledge and allow for its adoption across Wales.”

Professor Helen Griffiths, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Swansea University, said: “Swansea University is continuing in its mission to support Wales in helping to create a better and healthier future for its people through our research and innovation efforts. The highly collaborative research report, prepared by a multidisciplinary partnership led by our School of Management - with cross-college and broader partnership of the Medical School, the Accelerate HTC programme, as well as ARCH and the Bevan Commission – highlights opportunity for innovation to support health and social care and will support NHS Wales and the Welsh Government’s future health and wellbeing agendas.”

The press release, report and annex of case studies are all available in Welsh.