With the NHS now grappling with considerable challenges such as long waiting lists, staff shortages and a population that is getting older and sicker, host Chris Martin talks to two health board managers about their perspectives on the future of healthcare in their area.  

Linda Prosser, Executive Director of Strategy and Transformation at Cwm Taf Morgannwg (CTM) University Health Board, and its Chief Executive officer Paul Mears, discuss the challenges they face after the pandemic in terms of staff shortages and public expectations.  

Paul says: “I think there are some real challenges that are forcing us to think differently as a health board about how we respond to the pressures with our elective services, looking at how we redesign services across our footprint of Cwm Taf Morgannwg, across our sites, but also looking at opportunities for collaborations with other health boards where it would make sense to work together to try and resolve the problem because this is not a CTM specific issue.” 

To get to grips with the backlog of patients waiting for surgery and other treatments, Linda discusses the WISE (Wellness Improvement Service) project. It’s multi-disciplined programme that ensures patients receive advice and education about their condition, learning how best to maximise their own potential through better exercise and dietary advice. The idea is that people are in much better condition to receive their procedures - if indeed they end up needing it. 

Linda tells Chris, “We're really, really proud of it, and increasing the numbers that are going through that this year to possibly as many as 5000. I really hope that people gain enough from that that, you know, takes them forward in their whole life.” 

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Syniadau Iach 

In our Welsh language sister podcast, Syniadau Iach, presenter and Life Sciences Hub Wales Innovation Adoption Director, Rhodri Griffiths talks to Ifan Evans Executive Director of Strategy - Digital Health and Care Wales and Huw Thomas, Finance Director of Hywel Dda University Health Board about the digital way forward for the NHS in Wales. Listen now.