A boost for health in south west Wales: Health and Wellbeing Academy launched

People in south west Wales will get more support to live healthier lives, and play a part in training the next generation of healthcare professionals, thanks to a new Health and Wellbeing Academy based at Swansea University, officially opened by the Welsh Government health minister Vaughan Gething.

The Health and Wellbeing Academy is a collaborative project between the College of Human and Health Sciences at Swansea University and ARCH (A Regional Collaboration for Health).

The Academy offers a range of services, complementing those provided by the NHS, including:

  • Audiology – from hearing tests to advice on the latest “Made for Iphone” hearing aids
  • Osteopathy – help with joint and muscular pain
  • Post-bereavement care for children and young people
  • Midwifery – such as breastfeeding and new mother support group
  • Brain injury - support group for patients, run with local NHS partners

600 x 518

Picture:  Osteopathy is one of the services offered by the Health and Wellbeing Academy

Services are run by experienced registered professionals, many of whom teach in the College and work in the NHS.

The Academy is based in the University’s College of Human and Health Sciences, which is Wales’s largest provider of non-medical healthcare education.  So offering these services also means the College can give its students – tomorrow’s healthcare workforce – more opportunities to get the best possible training. 

In addition, the Academy will be a focus for research into health and wellbeing, drawing on the College’s existing research strengths.

The Academy also marks a milestone as it is the first of many changes which will be introduced as part of the ARCH partnership, which is pioneering new ways of providing care, to improve the health of people in south west Wales.  

Bereaved children's support group 3

Picture:  members of the group for bereaved children and young people, at the end of their support sessions, which were run by the Academy and Cruse, the bereavement charity

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport, Vaughan Gething, said:

“I am delighted to open this new facility. The Academy will not only enhance the teaching and learning experience for students but also provide high-quality health and wellbeing services for the local community.

It will enable staff to engage in cutting-edge research that will drive innovation and excellence in Wales.

It is a great example of health and science working together with patients to improve the health and wellbeing of their community.”

400 x 433 Picture:  the public will be able to get hearing tests and advice at the Academy's audiology facilities

Julia Pridmore, Director of the Health and Wellbeing Academy at Swansea University, said:

“The Academy is here to improve health and wellbeing in different ways.   We’re already providing services that make an immediate difference, helping people live healthier lives and take ownership of their health.  

But we’re also laying foundations for the future, by providing better training for tomorrow’s healthcare workforce, and acting as a hub for research into health and wellbeing.   All these areas are at the heart of the Academy’s work.  

We have to think differently about how we improve health and provide healthcare.   That’s the purpose of the ARCH partnership, which sees us working closely with our NHS colleagues.  We are very pleased that the Academy is the first of what will be many benefits that ARCH will deliver, improving the health of people across south west Wales.”    

The Health and Wellbeing Academy’s mission is to:

  • Provide a range of high quality health and wellbeing services closer to where people live
  • Engage in cutting edge research that will drive innovation and excellence in all that we do
  • Enhance the teaching and learning experience for staff and students to maximise their future employability