Yma's Third Birthday

Samantha Horwill
March 18, 2023

I am writing this on the eve of the third anniversary of our incorporation on the 18th March 2020. It just so happens that this important moment in our annual calendar coincides with the start of a new chapter in our story. But before I get to that, a moment of reflection on what has gone before this past year.

We set out in March 2022 with a refreshed purpose. We renewed our commitment to enabling primary care cluster working and establishing partnerships and sourcing products that deliver exceptional care for the people of Wales. We also set an intention to focus on understanding how we could play a part in clinical service delivery. It was clear that the challenges of the pandemic were still being felt across the system, coupled with the impact of the cost of living crisis, public sector pay disputes, global unrest and instability. The environment for our business has been tough, and while we have had some difficult and uncomfortable challenges to navigate – we have been equally fortunate and privileged to celebrate successes.

We completed our first service redesign project for the West Wales Care Partnership in October 2022. Over 20 weeks, in partnership with our friends at Here, we used systems thinking methodologies to co-design patient centred dementia well being services.

We continued to host the All Wales Cluster Lead Group to enable peer-support, sharing of best practice and a way to bring the breadth of primary care cluster lead opinion to national forums. This included a series of filmed conversations around Accelerated Cluster Development.

Our project management office undertook a range of work over the year, some formally commissioned including a review of information sharing in clusters for the Strategic Programme for Primary Care, and others where we donated our time including a discovery piece around GMS sustainability.

We also welcomed our first interim Clinical Director this year, and we are grateful for the guidance and support Dr Will Mackintosh provided to our team during his time with us.

We brought our Strategic Advisory Board together twice in the last year and it was at one of these sessions that a colleague brought to our attention the HealthPathways implementation in Cardiff and Vale. We were encouraged to reach out to Pathways Alliance as a potential partner and over the subsequent months we learned more about the platform and the people behind it in New Zealand and the UK.

Which brings me to where we are now.

Today, I had the honour of attending the first in a series of sessions to implement Community HealthPathways across the whole of Wales. Yma have been invited to join the Pathways Alliance team that delivers this ambitious programme, which has been commissioned by NHS Wales Planned Care Improvement and Recovery. Over the next three years we will be providing national programme leadership and implementation support to enable every Health Board to maximise the benefits of this approach.

While the HealthPathways implementation will be a major focus for us in our fourth year, we will also be building on the conversations we have had with over 30 other organisations in the last 12 months. We will bring alive a number of other projects in service to the people of Wales, not least exploring how we can bring our wider capacity and capability in delivering exceptional care, through Here.

I would like to thank our team, past and present, for their unwavering commitment to our purpose and trust in the possibilities all around us, even when the world we live and work in can feel very difficult indeed. Diolchyn fawr i chi gyd.

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