Powys Health and Care Academy’s first campus, at Bronllys Community Hospital, was officially opened on Thursday 13 October by Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan.
The new £1.6 million facility will help improve access to health and social care training in the county and encourage more people to take up a career in the sector.
The Bronllys Campus includes a training centre in the refurbished Basil Webb Hall, a new outdoor learning space, and an adaptive living space in the refurbished Magpies bungalow, which will be used to provide simulated learning in a community setting. This is just the start of plans for a state-of-the-art, county-wide academy, with spoke sites due to be developed over the next five years.
The work has been completed with the support of £1.1 million in capital grants from the Welsh Government’s Integrated Care Fund (ICF) and around £500,000 in further funding provided by members of the Powys Regional Partnership Board.
Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan MS said: “I was pleased to see some of the innovative work that is taking place in Powys to improve the skills of the county’s health and social care workforce, thanks to our support through the integrated care fund.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the learners I met today progress in careers which will see them looking after people with great dedication, in their times of need, for many years to come.
“Regional partnership boards were established to make sure our public bodies work together to improve health and wellbeing, and it is good to see this working well in Powys.”
During her visit, the Minister saw first-hand some of the work that is already being done to help prepare the next generation of the county’s health and social care workforce – post 16 learners from Powys high schools – to play a key role in the sector. She also met some of the area’s unpaid carers who are benefiting from learning techniques to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
Powys Health and Care Academy has been established by Powys Regional Partnership Board (RPB) which is made up of a range of public bodies and other agencies, including Powys County Council, Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO), who are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the county’s residents.
Carl Cooper Chair of Powys RPB and Chief Executive of PAVO, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to our new campus today, as it gave us the opportunity to showcase some of the excellent training which is already taking place and to thank her for the Welsh Government’s support for this project.
“Our ambition is for the academy to support the health and social care sector to become one of the top choices for those entering or returning to employment in the county, and for it to become an exemplar provider of rural professional and clinical education through both face-to-face simulated learning and virtual lessons.
“The academy will also support the development of our leaders and the workforce, including volunteers and unpaid carers, to deliver top class and innovative models of care to our citizens in a timely and effective way.”
The campus at Bronllys Community Hospital is the first of several sites that Powys RPB plans to develop as part of its Workforce Futures programme, including another main site, or hub site, on the planned North Powys Wellbeing Campus, in the centre of Newtown. Digital technology will also be used to link multiple sites and to enable remote learning.
The Welsh Government funding was approved by the Minister for Climate Change Julie James in 2020 and 2022.
For more information on the academy and its four schools, visit the Powys RPB website: https://www.powysrpb.org/powyshealthandcareacademy