As Cardiff and Vale Health Board recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and consider how services will be delivered in a sustainable way for future generations, it has commissioned two reports by the King’s Fund to examine Leadership and Development of the health and care system, and Innovation and Improvement within the health and care system.

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care. They work to help shape policy and practice through research and analysis, and promote understanding of the health and social care system. They were commissioned by Cardiff and Vale UHB to write and publish two reports comprising of what had been achieved and learnt by the UHB over the last few years as well as throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first, entitled Innovation and improvement in the Cardiff and Vale health and care system, describes the Health Board’s emerging approach to encouraging, enabling and supporting improvement and innovation, and to spreading effective practices and approaches to delivering services, since the publication of its strategy for transforming care, Shaping our future wellbeing, in 2015. It is based on interviews with 20 leaders from across the health and care system, including executive and non-executive leaders at the Health Board, senior managers and clinicians, frontline staff delivering services and staff delivering support services.

The second, Leadership and development of the Cardiff and Vale health and care system, attempts to capture its emerging approach to leadership and culture, including ways of working, structures and processes and is based on interviews with 18 leaders from across the health and care system. This report charts the dramatic progress that Cardiff and Vale has achieved since the Health Board published its ten-year strategy in 2015 and how investing staff, culture, ways of working and infrastructure has paid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alongside the Health Board’s own COVID-19 Discovery Report, these documents illustrate the ways in which the UHB works best, its place in the health and care landscape post-COVID, and the necessity for new ways of working in the future, laying the groundwork for such endeavours as the Dragon’s Heart Institute.

Rachel Gidman, Executive Director of People and Culture, said, “Since it published its Shaping our Future Wellbeing strategy in 2015, the Health Board has been investing in leaders across the health system irrespective of their role or level. The Amplify programme in 2019 was one aspect of this and is something we’re establishing into a more formal, regular showcase event using a virtual platform to develop leaders’ skills even further in the future. These reports are testament to the journey we have been on already and I am excited to see the excellent work of even more system leaders come to fruition as we continue to invest in the workforce of the future.”

Jonathon Gray, Director of Innovation and Improvement, said “These reports make it clear that we can no longer simply rely on the way things have always been done if we want to achieve our ambitions to be a world-leading health and social care system. Cardiff and Vale UHB exceeds when its staff are able to push the boundaries of what’s possible through innovative ideas and strong partnership working. We are starting to see more and more of this, which is fantastic, and it is our job to support our staff to continue to work in this way; new projects such as the Dragon’s Heart Institute will be central to this going forward.

Len Richards, Chief Executive, said, “I am very proud to see these reports, and everything the Health Board has achieved in the last few years contained within them. It is clear that we still have a way to go before we meet the ambitious goals of our ten-year strategy but I am confident from the evidence presented in these reports, and how we plan to embed the lessons we have learnt in to everyday practice, that we will achieve our goals and be recognised globally for the quality of care we deliver and the innovative ways in which we can deliver it.”

You can read the Leadership and Development report here and the Innovation and Improvement report here.

Ben Collins, the author of the reports has also written a blog on them for the King’s Fund website.