On the day that the Welsh Government started a wider ‘big health debate’ with the release of its Public Health Green Paper practitioners from the ABMU Health Board and Hywel Dda Health Board and academics from Swansea University met to discuss innovation in health care.

Swansea University has been hosting the second Wales Centre for Practice Innovation (WCPI) Annual Conference (29/30 November). The conference was organised by the Department of Nursing, College of Human and Health Sciences in collaboration with ABMU Health Board and Hywel Dda Health Board.

The special themes of the conference were dementia and palliative care with outstanding presentations for both areas highlighting that practitioners are taking responsibility for innovation in their own practice and moving services and care ever forward. The recurring message was that patients must remain as the centre of care and that innovation is crucial to ensuring this happens. 

Jean White at WCPI conference

In her speech to the conference, Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, examined the public health challenges and impact of demographic changes, particularly the implications of an ageing society, on health policy and service delivery in Wales. She referred explicitly in her speech to the consequences to services on the significant increase in 85 years and older population as Wales leads the UK in numbers of very old people. Jean also called on delegates to get involved with the debate around what Wales should do next in driving the public health agenda in Wales, and whether legislation should play a more significant role in this.

Rhodri Morgan at WCPI conference

Other speakers included :

The Rt Hon. Rhodri Morgan, Chancellor of Swansea University.

Lisa Marshall and Tom Alexander – Hywel Dda Health Board speaking about the Butterfly Scheme for People with Dementia (Thursday).

Julie Barnes and Allan Barham about Practice Innovation at the Cardiac Unit, Morriston and Active Service User Involvement (Thursday).

Andrea Higgins, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Hywel Dda Health Board speaking about Experiences of a Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Scholarship of Dementia Service across India (Friday).

The conference also held a competition for the best conference poster for ABMU Health Board and the best conference for Hywel Dda Health Board. 

For more information about subjects covered at the conference please contact:

Ruth Davies: Department of Nursing, CHHS, Swansea University,

R.E.Davies@swansea.ac.uk

Louise Hughes: ABMU Health Board,

Louise.Hughes3@wales.nhs.uk

Judith Bowen: Hywel Dda Health Board,

Judith.Bowen@wales.nhs.uk