HEALTH AND WELL-BEING PARTNERSHIPS

Our partnerships

USW has a long history of working with external partners in the field of health and well-being to collaboratively deliver solutions to support an agile and forward-thinking workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to support a healthier population.  

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Accelerating a digital evolution

The Welsh Institute of Digital Information (WIDI) is a joint initiative between the University of South Wales, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Digital Health and Care Wales. 

WIDI’s aim is to enhance digital workforce development and research in health and care. Together, the three organisations will increase the digital skills and competence of the healthcare workforce and will seek to enable digital transformation and usage through research, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, data science, Internet of Things (IoT), and medical imaging. 

A Research and Development Centre is being created at USW’s Newport Campus with funding from the Community Renewal Fund, which will include the design and prototyping of an online Digital Health Village to provide nursing and allied health care students the opportunity to train in a simulated environment, as well as the development of online teaching material related to Digital Health and Care. 

To learn more about WIDI, visit: https://widi.wales/  

“WIDI has an aspiration of developing and deploying information processing techniques, enabled by cutting edge research, to increase the potency of the health systems used across Wales and thus improve the wellbeing of our population. USW plays a critical role in taking forward WIDI’s research agenda, particularly in artificial intelligence, data science, and robotics.” 

Professor Andrew Ware 

Professor of Computing, USW and Director of Research, WID

“With the transition into the Digital Health and Care Wales Special Health Authority complete, I am confident that our relationship within the WIDI partnership will continue to grow. This in turn will support the development of both our staff and those studying at the two universities in contributing towards the further evolution of the digital health agenda within Wales.” 

Professor Helen Thomas 

CEO, Digital Health and Care Wales 

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Driving healthcare transformation

A Digital Transformation Intensive Learning Academy will help leaders in health and social care to deliver more effective and efficient services to patients. 

Part funded by Welsh Government, the Academy will help health and social care practitioners to deliver transformational projects around digital solutions, exploring new technologies and fostering a culture of curiosity. A range of flexible courses have been developed with Powys Regional Partnership Board, including postgraduate and doctorate level opportunities within Leading Digital Transformation.  

The goal is to empower workforces with the expertise, skills and confidence to drive the redesign of health and care systems for the better, improving patient outcomes and experiences, while boosting the efficiency and sustainability of services. 

The cross-collaboration across the courses will encourage innovation and collaboration. This will allow the co-development of valuable skills and partnerships to support transformative health and social care. 

“Striving for transformational change should underpin all of our efforts in developing our services and strong leadership is critical to that so we improve experiences for patients, clinicians and the wider public. This programme will support our leaders to drive digital transformation and be a catalyst for innovation.” 

Professor Bob Hudson  

Co-Director of the Intensive Learning Academy and Director of Healthcare Futures, USW 

“Digital working is key to future service delivery and this exciting work will prepare our teams to lead on this.” 

Councillor Myfanwy Alexander 

Chair, Powys Regional Partnership Board  

“These dedicated academies are a world first and we are immensely proud that Wales is pioneering in such an important training field. Leading Digital Transformation is set to be a major growth area within health and social care, so it’s imperative that our future leaders develop these crucial skills and knowledge.” 

Cari-Anne Quinn 

CEO, Life Sciences Hub Wales 

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Helping families get support

A project that formulated a way of assessing the resilience of families and the impact on children’s health and development has gained international interest. 

Experts at USW and PRIME Centre Wales worked with independent specialists, and colleagues at a number of Welsh health boards, to build the Family Resilience Assessment Instrument and Tool (FRAIT), providing a uniform way of measuring how family resilience could impact on children. 

Now incorporated into Welsh Government’s Healthy Child Wales Programme, designed to support parenting and healthy lifestyle choices, it is used by health visitors across Wales to support their decision making, and care planning about whether further intervention is needed. The success of the tool has garnered overseas interest, with the International Family Resilience Network established to share expertise and provide support to similar projects abroad. 

“There was no standard tool for health visitors previously in Wales to assess resilience in families with children up to the age of five, so this could lead to differences in working out what support a family needed to strengthen their ability to bounce back from crisis.” 

Professor Carolyn Wallace 

Community Health and Care Services, USW 

“I would like to thank the University of South Wales and the health visitors involved for producing FRAIT. It is something that will benefit families across Wales.” 

Vaughan Gething 

Former Welsh Government Health Secretary 

Football Coaching

Our coaches of the future

USW is the exclusive Higher Education Partner of the Football Association of Wales Trust. USW students have access to FAW Trust's internationally recognised training, including coaching up to UEFA B Licence, first aid and child protection, which are embedded into the 

BSc Football Coaching and Performance degree programme. The innovative collaboration provides opportunities for students to develop their coaching ability and knowledge. 

They are invited to the FAW Annual Coaches Conference and are offered placements, work experience and opportunities to further their development. 

USW also works with FAW Trust to support the development of female football players. The partnership helps to cement a newly developed pathway for the students, which aims to support them as they improve their football skills, while studying for qualifications at Coleg y Cymoedd and then progressing to study for degrees at USW. 

“The University are proud of the unique and exclusive partnership that we have with the FAW Trust. This provides fantastic opportunities for USW students to acquire their coaching qualifications as part of their study and supports the students in a range of hands-on vocational opportunities, such as coaching, football development, performance analysis and strength and conditioning. It is pleasing that a number of students, having gained these experiences, are then employed by the FAW Trust in supporting and developing the next generation of participants in the game.” 

Paul Rainer 

Head of Subject - Sport, USW 

“The FAW Trust recognise the University of South Wales as a key partner in delivering programmes to develop both coaches and players. We are extremely proud to support vocational training opportunities for students on various degree pathways that contribute to the successful implementation of a number of our strategic objectives, to grow the game and raise standards.” 

Dr David Adams 

Technical Director, FAW Trust 

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Developing essential health tools

Researchers at USW have developed an innovative blood oxygen monitor after supplies of this key device became limited as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team of researchers have worked under the instruction of the Welsh Government’s Critical Equipment Requirements Engineering Team (CERET), led by Industry Wales, which was looking for the development of a locally-sourced product.  

In collaboration with Welsh Government, Panasonic UK, and clinicians at Hywel Dda University Health Board, the device, known as a pulse oximeter, has been designed to be manufactured in Wales and breaks away from the standard oximeter supply chains, effectively eliminating future sourcing bottlenecks. 

“We wanted to be able to use our experience and knowledge of optoelectronics and engineering to develop something that could be of real use during the pandemic. After discussions with Welsh Government, it became evident that we could really help the NHS by developing a superior low-cost pulse oximeter that could be manufactured locally, avoiding potential bottlenecks for demand, cutting delivery times, and creating a new supply chain within Wales and the UK. Supplies for parts of the existing pulse oximeters are in huge demand, and working with local manufacturing expertise gives us another route to create a product that could potentially help to save lives.”  

Professor Nigel Copner 

Professor of Optoelectronics, USW 

“One of the key advantages of this device is that it can measure low oxygen levels, which is characteristic of what we are seeing in patients with Covid-19. Being able to source and manufacture it locally within in Wales also provides potential benefits for the economy.” 

Dr Rhys Thomas  

Hywel Dda University Health Board