Over the years, Wales has become a force to be reckoned with in the medical field and this year, the boundaries have been pushed even further. From allowing patients to have more choice and agency, to ensuring that the ability to access the medical profession is an option for everyone, countless organisations in Wales have been working tirelessly to revolutionise the medical field. Here are some of the trailblazing organisations working to improve medicine and healthcare in Wales.
Frontier Medical Group have recently announced plans for a new innovation hub at Cardiff Medicentre. Frontier Medical Group is a medical technology company, committed to developing and bringing to market, medical devices that help to aid pressure area care. As one of the world’s leading medical companies, their products are clinically evaluated to ensure that maximum support is offered to patients. All of their products are available on the NHS supply chain and used in hospitals, care homes, and by at-home patients. In the last twelve months, Frontier Medical Group has gone from strength to strength, making key changes to existing products. For instance, over the last year, Frontier have made changes to their Repose® cushions, resulting in a 25% reduction in scrap material, and a 10% increased efficiency in the overall production process.
As well as implementing innovative changes to pre-existing products, Frontier Medical Group have also announced some extremely exciting plans for the future. They have secured a space in Cardiff Medicentre to open an innovation hub. This will allow them to connect with professionals in academia, healthcare and engineering to develop further solutions to healthcare challenges. The innovation hub will be set in the grounds of Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales, cementing the medicentre as a joint venture between Cardiff University and the Cardiff & Vale University Health Board. Frontier Medical Group said that they have “always worked closely with Welsh universities, so this endeavour will allow us to continue to tap into Cardiff’s talent” to assure that patients will have access to innovative and quality products.
Frontier Medical Group has big plans for how the innovation hub will be used in Cardiff, and the focus is largely on benefiting patients. This new development will allow Frontier Medical Group to supply directly to patients. This means that patients at risk from developing sores and ulcers will be given an opportunity to choose the level of care that is right for them from the comfort of their own home.
Additionally, this new innovation hub marks a significant step for the healthcare, engineering and academic industries in Cardiff and surrounding areas. Frontier Medical group said that their new venture “places innovation at the heart of biotech and medtech business with the best resources, facilities and knowledge. We’re excited to see the positive impact this has on enhancing the future of healthcare and life sciences”. The innovation hub is expected to be operational later this year.
To keep up with Frontier Medical Group’s latest developments, visit: www./frontier-group.co.uk
The Hope Hospital
Cardiff University’s School of Medicine have teamed up with the Welsh Government’s Seren Programme to allow young Welsh learners the chance to experience what becoming a medical student is all about.
Seren is an initiative by the Welsh Government which sets out to help Wales’ most able state-educated learners achieve their full potential. Their recent collaboration with Cardiff University has allowed aspiring medics a hands-on insight into what studying medicine will involve. The Hope Hospital summer school ran for two days and aimed to encourage young Welsh learners to pursue a career in medicine. On top of this, it was free of charge, making this an accessible experience for all aspiring medics – no matter their background.
The summer school brought 53 year 12 students from all across Wales into The Hope Hospital, where they participated in Case Based Learning and Communication Skills workshops, based on the teaching given to early year medical university students. For example, in The Hope Hospital, actors presented students with various symptoms, giving the young learners a chance to assess and treat their ‘patients’. The Hope Hospital was also supported by current university students and Clinical Skills staff, giving these year 12 students a hands-on experience and important insight into both university life and the wider medical field.
Dr Naomi Stanton, a GP and Senior Clinical Lecturer at Cardiff University said, “‘The pandemic has meant several years of remote learning for learners, so this type of immersive experience is invaluable. It is vitally important for the future healthcare workforce of Wales that we encourage and support young people’s aspirations for careers in healthcare”.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, echoes this point, adding that The Hope Hospital summer school is “a great example of how our Seren programme can work in collaboration with leading Welsh universities to provide a free of charge experience to help nurture the next generation of medics”.
The Hope Hospital was a great success and a necessary investment into the future of Wales’ healthcare industries.
To find out more about The Seren Network initiative, visit: www.gov.wales/seren-network-overview
Coleg Gwent, a further education college based in Newport, has recently announced that they will be offering an Access to Medicine course. The first of its kind in Wales, this groundbreaking opportunity will tackle the pervasive issues surrounding inclusion and equality that exist when trying to begin a career in the medical field.
Coleg Gwent have collaborated with Agored Cymru and Professor Paul Edwards to create and launch the course, which will afford students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to study an Access to Medicine course. The intensive course is a one-year study route which, upon completion, will set students up with an equivalent of three grade As in science – the traditional acceptance offer to study medicine at degree level. This course targets students who may have missed the chance to study medicine due to personal barriers, preparing them for a Medical Pathway Degree whilst also building their self-confidence.
Professor Paul Edwards is a Consultant Surgeon and Assistant Medical Director for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. His own experiences of social deprivation and low self-esteem have cemented this course as something that he feels extremely passionate about, as he has witnessed the struggles that surround entering the medical profession first-hand. Paul said, “when I was 18, I struggled with confidence, and I didn’t think I was good enough. Growing up in a small Welsh town, I’d always thought a medical degree was out of my reach. But, in 1991, I started my medical degree at Southampton medical school and quickly became top of the class”.
Professor Edwards did not let his self-doubt stop him from pursuing his dream and he is hoping that this Access to Medicine course will instil a similar sense of hope in Wales’ current aspiring medics. Paul decided to team up with Coleg Gwent to “challenge the stereotypical system that without academic excellence measured by A Level grades, you can’t enter the medical profession”. He believes that “there is a huge amount of underused talent in Wales”, which will be uncovered by this accessible route into medicine.
Coleg Gwent have also teamed up with Agored Cymru to deliver the course. Based in Cardiff and Bangor, Agored Cymru is an awarding body that develops bespoke accreditations and services for education and training providers in Wales. Having Agored Cymru on board cements this course as a recognised accreditation, helping Coleg Gwent to revolutionise how we can enter the medical profession.
To find out more about the courses that Coleg Gwent offer, visit: www.coleggwent.ac.uk/our-courses