History of ARCH
There are well established arrangements in place for regional working in South West Wales, based on a long history of Swansea Bay and Hywel Dda University Health Boards working together. Formed in 2015, A Regional Collaboration for Health (ARCH) is a unique partnership between the two Health Boards and Swansea University. We believe a joined up regional approach is the only way we will be able to deliver meaningful change to improve the health, wealth and wellbeing for the people of South West Wales.
During 2017/18 ARCH became one strand of the City Deal that was awarded by the UK government to the Swansea Bay City Region. The City Region brings with it a new way of working. The ARCH partners are working in partnership with local authorities and industry to influence the wider determinants of health such as housing, education, transport and economic regeneration. In addition, ARCH are
capitalising on a new regional infrastructure, working towards digital inclusion.
In March 2017 the ARCH partners submitted a Portfolio Delivery Plan (PDP) to Welsh Government, committing the three organisations, Swansea University, ABM and Hywel Dda University Health Boards, to taking joint action at both significant scale and depth, covering services for a million people across the region.
The ARCH Portfolio brought together four powerful programmes of work, each addressing the ambition of ARCH by leading on identified projects.
There has been a further step-change in the pace and formality of the regional planning and delivery agenda with the establishment of the Joint Regional Planning and Delivery Committee (JRPDC) in August 2017. The priority for the JRPDC has been to focus our common challenges and maximise the impact of working together where there are opportunities for improvement through collaborative working on short-term priorities and in-year delivery.
Like many other health board programmes ARCH has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Much of ARCH’s work programme, set out in the Regional Clinical Services Plan in March - February 2020, has been delayed, delivered more quickly than anticipated, or impacted by a shift in context.
ARCH Partnership agreed the new ARCH Governance structure and Regional Priorities and Key Success Factors through March- June 2021. Aligned to this work ARCH leadership called for a greater focus on NHS service transformation, with a particular focus on stabilisation, recovery and establishing robust and sustainable regional services.