Executive Summary

“ARCH is a unique proposition. Nothing of this scale or complexity has been attempted in Wales before.
“A Regional Collaboration for Health is bringing together health and science to transform the NHS as we know it in this region. The university and health boards have chosen to collaborate to create an innovative and fresh way forward for the provision of healthcare and health and wellbeing services for the population of South West Wales. Once you understand the ARCH aims - it seems so unbelievably simple.”

ARCH chairman, Prof Andrew Davies

Many change programmes have historically failed to deliver real transformation in part due to their lack of ambition and vision and because they have worked in silos without meaningful collaboration.


The ARCH partnership sets out in this Portfolio Delivery Plan (PDP) a road map for how it intends to deliver change immediately and over the medium and long term. The resultant Portfolio Delivery Plan is not therefore a traditional service planning document, which focuses on just one problem and one sector (health, healthcare, workforce, economy etc) but rather attempts a synergy of inter-related responses.

This Portfolio Delivery Plan sets out a series of projects which will contribute to both Health Boards recovery and stabilisation plans and sets out the medium to longer term Projects that ARCH will be responsible for delivering and the sequence with which those projects will be delivered.

ARCH has four Programmes:

  • Skills & Education,
  • Service Transformation
  • Wellbeing
  • Research Enterprise and Innovation.

This PDP sets out projects that the ARCH Partners will deliver current recovery and stabilisation and lead to a sustainable Health & life science economy.

In each of the four Programmes there are schemes that ARCH is clear that it wishes to pursue over the next three years and others which require further work in 2017 before a costed, fully developed solution can be taken to Welsh Government for approval.

The PDP however, is not a traditional Strategic Outline Case (SOC), rather it provides a roadmap for the three ARCH partners from which specific business cases will be produced, it also provides the flexibility to encompass the output from Hywel Dda’s clinical strategy which is due to be completed in 2017.

The Portfolio Delivery Plan is support by a Technical Document which provides significant detail across the all four programmes and the crosscutting supporting information.

ARCH Response:

The ARCH region faces major health and wellbeing challenges. The population is living longer but living with co-morbidities. Across the region there remains a persistent gap in healthy life expectancy between the least and most deprived communities.

Our health services are under considerable pressure, with performance not meeting the high standards the health boards set themselves.

The projected demand for services is set to increase year on year, outstripping any planned increase in resource.

The South West Wales area as a whole is recognised to be underperforming economically and failing to reach its full potential. Overall Gross Value Added (GVA) growth has been consistently below that of the remainder of the UK and Wales over the past two decades. The ARCH region has too few high value businesses and we are not growing our business base quickly enough, our unemployment and economic inactivity remain too high and the physical fabric of the region, and current infrastructure is not meeting our needs.

The workforce in healthcare is aging with significant gaps in many professional groups. There are currently high numbers of vacancies across the health boards and this workforce gap which is predicticed to grow, leads to lower quality care and financial deficient. We need to deliver a stabilised solution to the current workforce challenges and take action to retain our current workforce.

At the same time we need a regional solution to widening access, creating an environment where more young people (particularly Welsh domiciled young people) have the appropriate qualifications and the right opportunities to join health and life science workforce.

Download a summary of the Portfolio Delivery Plan here

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