ARCH – A Regional Collaboration for Health


  1. Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMU) and Hywel Dda University Health Board (Hywel Dda UHB) have been invited by Welsh Government to propose a transformative plan for an integrated healthcare service that reflects the current and future demands of the region.
  2. The NHS in Wales faces challenges of population and workforce demography, chronic disease, expectation and technological advance which demand a bold “paradigm shift” in service provision with an urgent need for primary and community based care and service reconfiguration for sustainability and excellence.
  3. “Prudent healthcare has to be more than an idea and more than a set of principles. It has to change the way health services are used and provided. It has to make a real practical difference to the broad sweep of those millions of encounters which take place every year between Welsh people and their health service.” Prof. Mark Drakeford, Minster for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government.
  4. Reducing health inequality, improved quality of care and access to services, greater efficiencies and patient focus through prudent healthcare and the attraction and retention of leading professionals will represent key healthcare benefits. The expanded science base will produce economic outputs that will result in long-term, sustainable impact.
  5. Collaborative investment strategies including the use of Innovative Finance will lever investment into the region making the programme a sustainable health, education, science, innovation and translation endeavour.
  6. ABMU, Hywel Dda UHB and Swansea University (SU), through ARCH will further enhance the reputation of the region and Wales as a centre of excellence in service delivery, research, education and innovation in Healthcare and Life Sciences, through a carefully planned and managed brand strategy for the long-term benefit of the communities they serve.
  7. The Welsh Government’s Department of Economy, Science and Transport has identified Life Sciences as a key economic sector. Building on this the Ministers, Mrs. Edwina Hart and Prof. Mark Drakeford have stressed the need to develop the positive dynamic between the economy and health.
  8. The ABMU and SU Partnership Board, established in 2012, has already delivered a Joint Clinical Research Facility, a common Intellectual Property and Commercialisation Policy and collaborative education and skills development. Building on this, the parties are now embarking upon A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH).
  9. Swansea University’s Colleges of Medicine and Human & Health Science jointly are developing the concept of ILS Medi-Park to build upon the successes of the first decade of the ILS initiative. The recent Research Excellence Framework confirmed the world-class nature of the research and translation undertaken in the two Colleges with, for example, the College of Medicine being rated
    second of ninety five throughout the UK in its unit of assessment.
  10. Through a vertically-integrated skills and education strategy across clinical and non-clinical professions, ARCH will focus on the development and retention of a talented and dynamic workforce for both ABMU and Hywel Dda UHB and the wider Life Sciences and Health regional ecosystem that recognises the challenges of rural healthcare as well as urban.
  11. ARCH will see the creation of health campuses: the Singleton Health Campus which will integrate a number of strategic initiatives enabling significantly more care to be provided outside an acute hospital and developing seamless care pathways with primary care and the Morriston Health Campus: a major acute health and science centre for the South West Wales region. Additionally, there will be the development of facilities and services across Hywel Dda to support both existing and innovative healthcare delivery for their population including the creation of ILS@Hywel Dda
  12. Underpinned by research excellence in the partner SU Colleges and broader networks, ARCH will develop and translate leading healthcare innovation to the benefit of the population of the region and beyond
  13. Working in partnership with key stakeholders across the Swansea Bay City Region, ARCH will deliver an integrated regional approach to addressing its economic and health needs.
  14. The intention is for ARCH to become active from 2015 onwards, delivering a combined impact which is far greater than the sum of its parts.
  15. ARCH has been designed to act as an umbrella – individual elements can be taken forward independently as funding becomes available. ARCH organises, enables and enhances the health and wellbeing economy.