Wales Trainee John Wells has scooped one of the five winning spots in a Wales-wide event, with his proposal to improve patient outcomes and experience.

John and the Maxillofacial team at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil are celebrating victory in the latest Welsh Health Hack, an opportunity for health and social care workers to share the challenges facing them at work and then pitch and develop a solution.

Now in its fourth year, the Welsh Health Hack 2020 saw 24 teams – involving 130 people and 28 challenges – from across Wales present their idea to the panel and pitch for start-up funding. Five teams were successful, with pitches from Mr Doddi and Mr Wells ensuring our Cwm Taf Health Board led the way.

Talking about his idea, Mr Wells said: “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Wales and the majority affects the face, head and neck. These tumours and the scars associated with their treatment can have a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life. The outcomes are very measurable; for the surgeon, the measure is whether we have removed all the tumour, while, for the patient, it is the acceptability and impact of the scar.

“Paperwork is time-consuming and prone to error and omissions. In addition, paper systems do not lend themselves to easy analysis. I’ve proposed that we join it all together in one digital system and continually monitor our performance and patient feedback. Such a system will make it much easier for surgeons to reflect on their practice, with all surgeons constantly striving to improve outcomes and experience.”

In addition to the Health Hack funding, the digital workflow has been made possible by investment from Empyrean Digital, a Wales-based IT company developing the project. “Greg and his team from Empyrean are keen to take a chance on our idea and invest their expertise, as they see the benefits for our patients,” added Mr Wells.

“The great thing about the Health Hack is that every organisation involved is contributing something to the success of the project. This turns a modest investment from Welsh Government into a product that will lead to better outcomes and experience for patients and would not be possible without the bringing all of these contributions together.”

Bevan Commission deputy director Sion Charles said: “Against very stiff competition from 24 other teams, Cwm Taf Morgannwg has done really well in this Welsh Health Hack, taking two of the top five places with two very deserving winners.”

The Health Hack was delivered in partnership with AgorIP, Accelerate, Welsh Government, Life Sciences Hub, M-Sparc, Bangor University, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and all health boards in Wales, NWIS and Health Technology Wales.

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