Click here for the latest information on Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) from Welsh Government.
From 1 April 2018, the functions undertaken by the Wales Deanery and the Welsh Centre for Postgraduate Pharmacy Education (WCPPE) will largely be transferred to a new body: Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).
This decision comes as a result of the Welsh Government’s review in 2014 into investment of health professional education and workforce development. The review recommended developing a new single body to support the development of the health workforce in Wales, with elements including education and training, planning, leadership, careers, improvement, and widening access.
Currently an academic unit in Cardiff University’s College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, the Wales Deanery offers over 3,000 training-grade doctors and dentists access to high quality postgraduate facilities and educational support, thereby enabling them to achieve their potential in providing care to patients across Wales.
At present, WCPPE is an operational unit of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and works to motivate and support pharmacy professionals through provision of learning and development opportunities, thereby enhancing their ability to deliver high quality patient services in Wales.
In addition, the Workforce, Education and Development Services (WEDS) Team within NHS Shared Services, which focuses on workforce planning and modernisation in NHS Wales, will also be transferred into HEIW. This new organisation will be based at a single main location.
Nonetheless, a handful of functions deemed more appropriately aligned to Cardiff University will instead move into different Schools in the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences. These include the postgraduate Medical Education taught programmes, the Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing, as well as the work led by the Welsh Institute for Minimal Access Therapy (WIMAT).
In the build-up to April next year, a huge amount of work is ongoing to bring together the different teams into one body.
In November, Alex Howells was appointed to become the inaugural Chief Executive of HEIW after being selected through open competition. Six non-executive Board members will also work alongside the new organisation’s Interim Chair, Dr Chris Jones; currently, Welsh Government are also structuring the composition of executive members, with a decision to be announced shortly.
Health Education and Improvement Wales presents a unique opportunity to develop and enhance the professional education offered to NHS practitioners, and is a positive step towards providing better patient care in Wales.