USW launches academy to drive healthcare transformation

ILA launch

The University of South Wales (USW) has launched a Digital Transformation Intensive Learning Academy to develop leaders in health and social care to deliver more effective and efficient services to patients.

Part funded by the Welsh Government, the Academy will help health and social care practitioners to deliver transformational projects around digital solutions. Wales is the first country in the world to launch specialised Intensive Learning Academies (ILAs), with USW being the latest university to deliver this innovative training.

Working in partnership with Powys Regional Partnership Board, USW has created a range of flexible courses that include postgraduate and doctorate level opportunities within Leading Digital Transformation. Input into programme development has been sought from Aneurin Bevan and Cardiff and Vale University Health Boards, as well as the Welsh Institute of Digital Information.  

Open to leaders and managers within Health and Social Care, the training will focus on the development of highly capable leaders to Lead Digital Transformation as a whole system approach. This means that leaders will be better equipped to drive forward the changes needed to meet future challenges in the long-term and post Covid-19. The courses will explore new technologies and foster a culture of curiosity and innovation in applications to help improve the lives of people in Wales. The training will apply learning and test new approaches in digital leadership that can address challenges by having a ‘Digital First’ mindset.

The bespoke programmes available at USW are officially open for enrolment, with more information available on the Life Sciences Hub Wales website. The courses, most of which can be accessed remotely, will train and prepare the next generation of global leaders in building future health and social care systems.  

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.

All courses will welcome applicants working across global health, social care and life sciences systems from four partners – Aneurin Bevan, Cardiff and Vale, Powys Regional Partnership Board and Velindre NHS University Trust, among others.

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.  

Professor Bob Hudson, Director of the Intensive Learning Academy at University of South Wales, said: “The NHS is always changing, and the scale of change over the last 18 months has been unprecedented. We need our Health and social care leaders to be equipped to meet the challenges of the future, so we’re delighted to launch the Intensive Learning Academy.

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.

Councillor Myfanwy Alexander, Chair, Powys Regional Partnership Board, added: “Digital working is key to future service delivery and this exciting work will prepare our teams to lead on this.”

Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO, Life Sciences Hub Wales, said: “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.  

“Ongoing innovation is essential to ensuring a pipeline of ground-breaking discoveries and developments. By uniting health and industry professionals and encouraging them to learn and work together, this digital academy will establish a foundation for sustainable and collaborative innovation for years to come.” 

More information on the new Academies is available at: