Together improving the health and well-being of people and communities
We’d like to take this time to update you on the creative and innovative ways, together with a few of our achievements during the past 12 months in supporting the people of North Wales.
North Wales Research, Innovation and Improvement Coordination (RIIC) Hub
The North Wales Research, Innovation and Improvement Coordination (RIIC) Hub was just about to launch in March 2020 when everything changed. Our new staff arrived at empty offices, grabbed their IT equipment and began their socially‑distanced induction. The plans for the hub had to quickly be re-written to take account of this new world.
Our first priority was to directly support the Covid-19 response and then how we could coordinate research and innovation activity to support the emergency response. Our Specialist Librarian has been keeping up to date with the latest research and guidance and publishing a list of useful sources of information. We also started to capture the innovation that’s happened as a result of Covid-19 in North Wales. There have been huge changes in the way we use digital technology, from enabling home working and virtual meetings to rolling out Attend Anywhere to provide patient care over a secure video link. This has all been written up into a Covid-19 population needs assessment rapid review, available on the regional collaboration website.
Other highlights include supporting transformation projects to use evidence by carrying out literature searches, such as into resources to support children’s wellbeing, and provided advice and support with setting up on‑line surveys, data analysis and story-telling research methods.
We worked with Integrated Care Fund (ICF) projects to consider the themes of scale, good practice and innovation. We supported better coordination by identifying similar projects in different sectors/agencies and linking them up. We worked with national projects to avoid duplication locally and developed strong networks with other regional hubs.
For example, working with Social Care Wales to look at evidence use within social care, sharing our COVID-19 literature searches with other regions and using our website to highlight the different approaches to promoting innovation (Living Labs, Health Hacks, Innovation Labs) within different sectors.
We organised a Social Care Innovation Lab with Bangor University with a focus on digital technology. We also worked with the Innovation Agency to develop the concept of a Living Lab and bring together health and social care practitioners and researchers to better understand the research, innovation and improvement landscape in North Wales.
We continued to promote events, funding opportunities and the work of the team through the website, Twitter account and regular email newsletters. This include live tweeting key regional events. By the end of the year we had over 170 followers of the Twitter account and 130 subscribers to the RIIC hub mailing list.
In 2021/22 we want to build on the relationships and structures we’ve developed so far to make sure that our work has an impact and leads to improvements in the health and well-being of people across north Wales.
We will map research, innovation and improvement activity across north Wales and assess how well it aligns with regional and national priorities.
We will develop a research, innovation and improvement strategy to develop shared priorities for social care and health research.
We will continue to support the transformation programme and other partners to develop their research, innovation and improvement activity. This will include more Social Care Innovation Lab workshops to bring people together from diverse sectors to share ideas. It will also include supporting work on the population needs assessment and market stability reports.
We will continue to work with partners from across Wales on shared projects, such as ways to commercialise innovation.
We will develop our website as a place where people can find the resources they need and examples of good practice from across the region. We will also explore better ways to share findings from consultation and engagement so that they have a greater impact. We will promote this work through our regular newsletters and Twitter account and aim to increase the number of people signed up to receive information from us.
If you work in health and social care in North Wales and have a good idea, a challenge that needs solving or new ways of working you want to share there is a lot of support available to held do that. Navigating the different support available can be more of a challenge. We put together some suggested pathways you could follow to help explore your ideas and find sources of support. Please get in touch to find out more.
Dementia Action Week
The positive steps being taken here in North Wales towards making us a Dementia Friends place to live was shared throughout the week. Here’s a brief summary of stories and information shared.
Virtual Singing for the Brain Project, Anglesey – brings people affected by dementia together to sing a variety of songs they know and love, in a fun and friendly environment. We also do fun vocal exercises that help improve brain activity and well-being.
The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST), are working towards improving the experience for people living with dementia who use their services, as well as considering the impact it has on the workforce. Staff are so often in the frontline when it comes to helping people living with dementia. WAST want to ensure that they are trained and informed about the condition so that they have a good understanding of how to best support patients, families and carers.
Kevin Jones bravely shared his beautiful but poignant story. “Companion Calls” have been Kevin’s lifeline – especially during Covid. You can watch Kevin’s video, together with reading all the information covered during Dementia Action Week at: www.northwalescollaborative.wales/kevin-jean-their-story/
Support for people living with dementia is a priority in the North Wales Regional Plan (Area Plan) based on what people told us was important to them as part of the population assessment.
There is also a legal duty in the Social Services and Well-being Act 2014 for Regional Partnership Boards to prioritise the integration of services in relation to older people with complex needs and long term conditions, including dementia. Our Dementia Strategy sets out how we will work towards integrated dementia services in North Wales; developed jointly by the six North Wales councils and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) supported by Public Health Wales, Bangor University and other partners.
Kimberley Mason, Regional Project Manager, Commissioning
Within the Commissioning Team, I lead on the following workstreams:
I take the lead on unpaid carers across North Wales on behalf of the 6 local authorities and the health board, administering the North Wales Carers/Young Carer Operational Groups. I oversee the annual WG Carers Grant which supports Primary and Secondary Care Facilitator posts across the region, and collate the monitoring of these contracts for WG reports as and when required. I also keep abreast of the numerous carers contracts commissioned across the LAs and BCUHB to avoid duplication of services, to support collaborative commissioning and to monitor the implementation of the Regional Carers Strategy across North Wales.
I arrange and administer the Social Value Forum Steering Group meetings which are attended by local authority, health and third sector representatives. I have recently been part of the Social Value Taskforce Group to agree and develop the National TOMS (themes, outcomes & measures) for Wales.
We will shortly be commissioning a new Investors in Carers: Working Together to Support Carers primary and secondary care facilitation service, funded through the annual Welsh Government Carers Grant to replace the current GP & Hospital Facilitator posts that BCUHB commission from local carer services providers. The overall purpose of the role is to ensure the needs of carers are taken into account across Primary and Secondary Care. This approach will be delivered through our third sector partners who will work closely with primary and secondary care settings to encourage the early identification of carers and young carers and raise awareness of carers and their rights. GP practices, hospital settings and further afield in the carers’ communities will also be supported to develop initiatives that offer information and advice for carers, including an accredited Investors in Carers scheme.
The National TOMs for Wales framework was launched at the National Social Value Conference 2020 and have been designed to support all organisations across the public and private sector. They provide support to build stronger and deeper relationships with suppliers and to deliver against the 7 goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the Community Benefits Toolkit through a single measurement and management framework. A social value calculator has also been devised to help organisations calculate the amount of social value in their contracts.
Current Priorities for the North Wales Regional Partnership Board
Our priorities and focus for the short and longer term are:
- Older people with complex needs and long term conditions, including dementia
- Mental Health
- People with learning disabilities
- Children and young people
- Carers, including young carers
For more information on the work of the
North Wales Regional Partnership Board,
please visit www.northwalescollaborative.wales
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01824 712432