Innovative new Health and Wellbeing Academy opens at Swansea University

A new Health and Wellbeing Academy which aims to give people more support to lead healthier lives is being officially opened today by Wales’ Health Secretary Vaughan Gething (WalesOnline, 2017).

The academy offers a range of services, complementing those already being provided by the NHS. It includes an audiology department which provides hearing tests and advice on the latest “made for iPhone” hearing aids. People with joint and muscular pain will benefit from the academy’s osteopathy service, and a support group has been set up to help patients with brain injuries. There is also a midwifery service on the site to help new mothers with breastfeeding, and post-bereavement care is being provided for children and young people.

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). Services will be run by experienced registered professionals, many of whom teach in the college and work in the NHS. The College of Human and Health Sciences, where the academy is based, is Wales’ largest provider of non-medical healthcare education.

Julia Pridmore, head 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.”

Dr Zac Maunder of Swansea University, who co-manages the bereaved children’s group in conjunction with Glenys Benford-Lewis of CRUSE Bereavement Care, said “This is a wonderful opportunity for the College of Human and Health Sciences and CRUSE to share expertise with each other in providing this much needed service for children and young people.”

Sue Richards of CRUSE Bereavement Care said “We are really pleased that this new venture in collaboration with Swansea University was so successful. At the end of the day, all we want to achieve is to reach as many bereaved children as possible in a fun and meaningful way. From the quotes we receive our volunteers change these young people’s lives. Our aim is to reach as many bereaved children as we possibly can. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness shown by so many people to get this venture off the ground by generous financial contributions and volunteers donating their time and effort and are looking forward to our next one for children aged 7-10.”

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