Case study

NHS in Wales uses SBRI scheme to improve healthcare planning

Health board in South Wales calls in innovative companies to address problem of fragmented information, making it easier to predict need.

Wall of ABMU Health Board building with name of organisation
ABMU Health Board operates four acute hospitals and serves 500,000 people.

SBRI in Wales

The Small Business Research Initiative

Health professionals serving half a million people in South Wales are better placed to respond to their changing needs after data specialists came up with novel ways of analysing health information.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board operates four acute hospitals and employs 16,500 staff, 70% of whom are involved in direct patient care, but the data it held was often found to be fragmented.

It needed a clear idea how to exploit information it held, to plan services against the background of a constantly changing population.

Two Swansea-based SMEs – We Predict and GP Commissioning Solutions Ltd – emerged from the feasibility stage of a three-year SBRI competition set by ABMU and Swansea University’s Health Informatics group. SBRI encourages innovative ideas from industry that can solve challenges faced by the public sector.

GPC’s online software allows clinicians and managers to ask complex questions about health services using everyday terminology, without having to understand data and systems.

We Predict uses sophisticated analysis methods to describe, evaluate and predict health and healthcare trends

Commercial potential

Helen Thomas, head of information services at ABMU Health Board, said:

What the project allows us to do is to unlock the wealth of information that is available to us, to understand how the population – our patients – are using the services.

Working with We Predict and GPC Solutions has been very rewarding because they’ve brought new ideas to the table.

James Davies, CEO at We Predict, said: “The solution we’ve developed for ABMU through SBRI is certainly something we’re going to take to the rest of the healthcare market in the UK.”

Huw Morgan, technical director at GPC Solutions, added: “The project has allowed the business to grow more rapidly than it had before, so we’ve been able to employ more staff. We’ve also been able to explore new markets.”

Published 4 November 2015