25 Jan 2017 “City Deal will accelerate transformation of health & wealth in South West Wales”


A £1.3billion investment plan for South West Wales will help accelerate the progress of the unique ARCH partnership, which is working to transform health services in the region, according to health leaders.


ARCH chair and ABMU chair Professor Andrew Davies said the multi-million pound City Deal would be a welcome boost for the area. Professor Davies said: The City Deal is crucial for this region. The deal will help us deliver projects within the ARCH portfolio.”

The City Deal bid has seen 4 local authorities, 2 health boards and Higher and Further Education come together with the private sector to secure a funding package which will help boost the economy, create new jobs and improve healthcare in this part of Wales.


The bid is made up of three elements – energy, economic growth and health and wellbeing. ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health) is a unique collaboration between Swansea University and ABM and Hywel Dda University Health Boards and forms the health and wellbeing strand of the City Deal bid.


The ARCH partners are working together to find a regional solution to major challenges facing the health service. These three big organisations have chosen to come together to action significant change at scale - and at pace.


Professor Davies added: “Nothing like ARCH has been attempted in Wales before with this level of ambition or on this scale. It is also the first time that the NHS has been involved in economic development at this level and the City Deal, in helping to transform healthcare services in South West Wales, will also deliver well-paid jobs and high-level skills."


ARCH board member and Swansea University’s Dean of the School of Management Professor Marc Clement has been a key part of the City Deal bid work. He said: “We want the region to become a “living laboratory” – essentially a test bed for innovation which will enable transformation.


“We are delighted to hear a decision will be made in coming weeks. The City Deal will allow the ARCH partners to accelerate their work to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of South West Wales.


“One of the main aims of the City Deal, and indeed ARCH, is to accelerate growth in our region for the benefit of the people who live here. 


“We aim to create more well-paid jobs, more opportunity, deliver pioneering world-class healthcare, and ensure a better quality of life.”


He added: “ARCH is already delivering on some key projects such as the first intake of students on the innovative FE programme Talent Bank which has been supported by Fujitsu, and is co-located in the School of Management on the new Bay Campus, and the launch of AgorIP – a £13.5million EU-supported scheme which brings together academics, clinicians and industry to pioneer research into cutting-edge technologies and the opening of the innovative Health and Wellbeing Academy at our Singleton campus.


“A lot of work has gone into the City Deal bid, and the imminent announcement is proof that collaboration on a regional scale can action real change.”


The deal, with a total value of £1.3billion, is bigger than the capital City Deal signed in Cardiff last year. It is estimated approval would deliver a £3.3billion boost to the regional economy over 15 years, generating over 9,500 new jobs. Swansea Council said this week it hoped an agreement with UK ministers could be reached by the end of February.


ARCH board member and ABMU Medical Director Professor Hamish Laing said the imminent City Deal announcement would be a welcome boost for this area.


Professor Laing said: “ARCH means the region’s two University Health Boards and one of the leading universities in Wales are now working together to create a future of unprecedented innovation and excellence. We believe this powerful collaboration will help the citizens of our region share better skills and economic prospects which it turn will improve the health of our communities.

“The City Deal will help us accelerate our plans to develop Singleton and Morriston hospitals as health science campuses with a focus on hospital care at Morriston Hospital and Primary and Community care at Singleton.


“We welcome the close co-operation with our local authority and third sector partners, which is ensuring we can implement a joined-up approach across the region.”


£40million of City Deal funding would be dedicated to developing the health and wellbeing village in Llanelli while £15million would enable the first phase of the Morriston and Singleton health campus developments.


Phase 1 of the campus project will see the creation of an Institute of Life Science (ILS) at Morriston. Swansea University’s Medical School has already created two Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), which have created 800 highly-skilled jobs and secured £42million of investment in the area. Through ARCH, the ILS will be incorporated at Morriston to create a unique innovation environment. The Campus Phase 1 project is set to create over 800 direct jobs during the project timescale.


A Morriston Campus will expand research and innovation infrastructure in the field of genomics and proteomics and see the regional centralisation of pathology services at Morriston. The campus development will support creation of research collaboration and industry engagement facilities.

The reconfiguration of the Morriston site will also enable the first phase of  the Singleton Health Campus,  where a growing cluster of medical and other health technology companies/collaborations are focused. This campus expansion will deliver the delivery of the Medical School’s Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC).


Dean of the Medical School and ARCH board member Professor Keith Lloyd said: “The Healthcare Technology Centre (HTC) will focus on science and technology. It will help grow, develop and retain the healthcare and life sciences workforce, support the growth of research scale, quality and impact and create diversification of income through greater attraction of industrial and other income.

“We are excited to be part of the City Deal bid and look forward to the announcement from Westminster later this month.”


A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) is a collaboration between Swansea University and ABMU and Hywel Dda University Health Boards. ARCH covers 6 local authority areas and will benefit 1 million people across the region.


The ARCH partners came together in early 2015 to address - in a new and innovative way - the unprecedented financial, service and workforce pressures facing the NHS as well identifying an opportunity to expand life sciences as a key economic driver for the region. Both health boards recognised the urgent need to create a plan for an transformed health service which reflects the current and future needs of the region and saw a regional collaboration as the solution to seemingly unsolvable issues.


By building on the already established partnership between ABMU and Swansea University through the Partnership Board, set up in 2012, and following a decade of success in research, enterprise and innovation built by Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science (ILS) - the health boards’ collaboration with Wales’s number one university has created a powerful partnership designed to tackle regional challenges at scale and at pace.


ARCH, through the Internet of Health & Wellbeing strand of the City Deal, would create a network of health and wellbeing schemes focused on prevention, health & wellbeing education and social prescribing aimed at tackling the social determinants of health.


The Carmarthenshire Council-led Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village in Delta Lakes would be accelerated by a City Deal.

The Llanelli Village would receive £40million of City Deal funding. The project will improve the prosperity of the local area by creating life science and health employment and investment opportunities based around  primary and community care, educational facilities, leisure and tourism facilities. 


Hywel Dda chair and ARCH board member Bernardine Rees OBE said: “We are proud to be part of ARCH, it shows our commitment to transforming the way the region delivers care and promotes wellbeing. The health and wellbeing schemes will partner first-class health, research and life science, with innovative leisure opportunities to help people live healthier lives.


“This project shows the importance of a collabora­tive approach between all sectors. To achieve a real step-change in the health of our communities, we must understand the impact wellness has on all areas and sectors - medi­cine, research, education, sport, community public health hospitality and business. This project will be the first of its kind in Wales.

“As well as improving health and wellbeing in the area, we are keen to see this project help boost the local economy and create new jobs.”


Other schemes are currently being scoped for Swansea City Centre, Neath, Bridgend and across the Hywel Dda area.


The Health & Wellbeing schemes will be tailored to meet local needs, and will be called different things such as a village or hub or centre, but all deliver and support new models of care; offer patients access to 21st Century healthcare in a community setting; provide education and skills programmes delivered by FE and HE to develop current and future generations of NHS workers; increase and maximise high-quality research and innovation; and, deliver a powerful and positive influence on people’s emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing.


Bernardine added: “Through the creation of health and wellbeing schemes and the development of health campuses, ARCH will maximise the world-class broadband connectivity offered by the City Deal, to give people the tools they need to stay well for longer and take responsibility for their own health & wellbeing, which will reduce the need for treatment in a hospital settings.”



Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Science has opened its Health and Wellbeing Academy at the Singleton campus through the ARCH partnership.


The unique facility opened its doors earlier this month making this the first service to be delivered as part of the ambitious ARCH portfolio.


Their first wellbeing clients were young adults aged 11-16 from the Swansea area. They attended a workshop delivered by Cruse Bereavement Care, in collaboration with the department of nursing and three student nurses from the child field undergraduate nursing programme.  This is just one service which will be delivered through the Academy, others include audiology, positive psychology workshops, osteopathy and maternal health.

Professor Ceri Phillips, Head of College for Human and Health Sciences said: “The Academy aims to ease pressure on the health service, particularly for our GPs and A&E departments.


“It is a unique approach aimed at improving health & wellbeing across the region through a range of contemporary  treatments which complement services provided by the NHS and social services. The Academy also provides new opportunities and environment for health professional education and training, along with developing alternative ways for patients to manage their health and care.


“Through the City Deal funding we hope to rollout the Academy concept across the region. The £40million for the Llanelli Wellness & Life Science Village in Delta Lakes will allow us to take the Academy to our Hywel Dda residents.”


The Health & Wellbeing Academy is an innovative concept which encapsulates everything ARCH aims to achieve in terms of transforming the way the NHS delivers care and trains its future workforce. The Academy offers hands on clinical experience to students in a non- traditional, multi-professional environment.


Phase one of the academy is now live with future phases looking to scale up and roll out the concept across the ARCH region. The Llanelli Village is just one of the health & wellbeing schemes which will house an academy within the development.

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