DiscoverHow Healthcare Happens
How Healthcare Happens

How Healthcare Happens

Author: Cardiff and Vale UHB

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How Healthcare Happens is a podcast from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board all about the amazing things you never knew the NHS did. As one of the largest NHS organisations in the UK, Cardiff and Vale UHB is made up of thousands of inspirational people, each working hard to make things better. This is your chance to hear from the people who make the NHS so great in their own words.
26 Episodes
In part two of the Equality in Health Episode, Bryn talks to Keithley Wilkinson and Rose Lewis from the Cardiff and Vale UHB Equality Team about health inequalities that are attributable to race as well as the Black Lives Matter movement and its implications for healthcare in the UK. Suggested Reading: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X.Kendi Natives (Race and class in the ruins of empire) by Akala White Fragility by Robin Diangelo They Can't Kill Us All by Wesley Lowery Have You Heard George's Podcast? - BBC Sounds Shreds: Murder in the Dock - BBC Sounds Do The Right Thing - Spike Lee If you want to get in touch with the Cardiff and Vale UHB Equality Team, please email 
In this two-part episode Bryn chats with Keithley Wilkinson and Rose Lewis from Cardiff and Vale UHB's Equality Team, and Lisa Cordery the UHB's Children's Rights Lead and trans rights advocate. In part one, they discuss LGBT+ health and the issues these communities can sometimes face when accessng healthcare.  Suggested Reading: Trans Britain by Christine Burns Transgender Health by Ben Vincent Non-binary lives by Jos Twist, Meg-John Barker, Kat Gupta, Ben Vincent Understanding Trans Health by Ruth Pearce Disclosure on Netflix If you want to get in touch with the Equality Team, please do so by emailing 
In the 13th episode in our COVID-19 series, Bryn chats with Len Richards, Cardiff and Vale UHB's Chief Executive, about his role during the pandemic. They also discuss what leadership means in a crisis, the greatest challenges faced by the Health Board as a result of COVID-19 including the tragic deaths of five members of staff, and some of the clinical innovation that Len hopes will be adopted into everyday practice going forward.
In the 12th episode of our COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Katie Palmer, the programme manager for Food Sense Wales, an organisation hosted by Cardiff and Vale UHB and Public Health Wales. They discuss the issue of food insecurity in Wales, the impact of COVID-19 on people's ability to access food and how the NHS is helping to address the issue. They also talk about the food system as a whole in Wales and how, through people like Katie, the NHS works to influence it from farm to table to ensure that it's as good for you, me and the planet as possible.
In the 11th episode of our COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Professor Chris Fegan, Director of the Research and Development at Cardiff and Vale UHB. They discuss some of the ongoing trials happening in the Health Board, how COVID-19 has changed the way research is carried out and how it has impacted the trials happening in other areas of healthcare. 
In the 10th episode in our COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Dr Mark Taubert about palliative care; how it's changed as a result of coronavirus but why it's still so important. They also discuss advance care planning, what that means, why it's so crucial and how it's led to Mark hearing "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John a surprising number of times.
In the eighth episode of the COVID-19 series, Bryn talks with Jackie Horsey, a district nurse based in the Rumney area of Cardiff about how she has altered her practice and how her relationship with patients has changed as a result. They also talk about the risk of social isolation in some of the most vulnerable patients and what we can all do to help address it.
In the seventh episode of the COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Dr David Meades, a GP from Cardiff North Road surgery about how primary care staff are keeping safe and why it's important that people continue to contact their GPs if they're worried about symptoms during the pandemic.
In the sixth episode of the COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Dr Sarah Davies, a GP from Woodlands Surgery in Ely about how she's had to adapt her practice to continue to see patients safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the fifth episode of the COVID-19 series of How Healthcare Happens, Bryn talks with Sue Dickson-Davies, a Senior Fundraiser for Cardiff & Vale Health Charity about the outpouring of generosity Cardiff and Vale UHB has received from members of the public and local businesses since the start of the Coronavirus crisis.
In the fourth episode of the COVID-19 series of How Healthcare Happens, Bryn talks to Dr Julie Highfield, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist on the Critical Care Unit at the University Hospital of Wales about the psychological impacts of COVID-19 on patients, their relatives, the healthcare staff who treat them, and society as a whole.
In the third episode of the COVID-19 series of How Healthcare Happens, Bryn talks to Dr Matt Morgan, a Consultant Intensivist and author of the book  Critical, about how intensive treatment units work, how COVID-19 patients are treated on ITU and the research trials currently happening in Cardiff and Vale UHB's critical care unit.
In the second episode of the COVID-19 series of How Healthcare Happens, Bryn talks with Professor Jonathon Gray, Director of Transformation and Informatics at Cardiff and Vale UHB, about his work leading the construction of the temporary hospital, Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig (Dragon's Heart Hospital) at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
In the first episode of the COVID-19 Series of How Healthcare Happens, Bryn talks to Dr Andrew Freedman,  a Reader in Infectious Diseases at Cardiff University School of Medicine and Honorary Consultant Physician at Cardiff and Vale UHB, about the nature of virus and the properties of the SARS-CoV2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Staff Wellbeing

Staff Wellbeing


Who looks after the people that look after the rest of us? It's no secret that working in healthcare can be very stressful and for that reason,  the staff that work in the NHS require support so that vital services can keep running. In this episode, we speak to Nicky Bevan, the Head of Employee Health and Wellbeing at Cardiff and Vale UHB. We discuss the services which she oversees and why they're necessary, the health need of NHS staff and why it's so important to protect them with things like immunisation, and the initiatives which she and her team have led to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of the Health Board's staff. If you work at Cardiff and Vale UHB and want to know more about the Employee Wellbeing Service, please contact them on 029 2074 4465 or by e-mailing
Sustainable Food

Sustainable Food


We all know that we're supposed to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day but for many of us, in reality, that can be harder than it sounds. This is especially true for veg, with so few of us eating the recommended amount that a staggering 20,000 lives could be saved every year in the UK if each of us ate just one extra portion of vegetables every day. With the health benefits of eating a nutritious veg-high diet clear, how can the NHS help to ensure that as many of us as possible get our fill of veg in a sustainable way? In Cardiff, the Health Board hosts an organisation called Food Cardiff which is made up from a number of partner organisations from the third sector as well as Cardiff Council. In this episode, we talk to Pearl Costello, Food Cardiff's Sustainable Food Cities Coordinator, who works with these partner organisations to help inform people of the benefits of veg and teach them how to best cook it, secure pledges to serve more veg in meals from big businesses such as Brains pubs, support local growers and businesses such as the Cardiff Salad Garden, and work to help those who struggle to afford fresh fruit and veg to eat healthy balanced diets through local pantry schemes and various benefits such as Healthy Start vouchers.  If you've been affected by any of the topics we cover in this episode and would like any advice about or help with food, please visit the Food Cardiff website ( to get in touch with Pearl. Alternatively, you can drop me an email at 
In 2019, Cardiff and Vale UHB celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the University Hospital of Wales. In its first 10 years, what difference has the unit made to the lives of people treated there and what would their treatment look like if they couldn’t access the unit? In this episode, we chat to Bethan Ingram, Senior Nurse, and Anna Davies, Youth Support Coordinator, to talk about how the UHB, with the support of Teenage Cancer Trust, has changed cancer care in Wales to meet the specific needs of 14 - 25 year olds. We talk about these needs and the feedback Anna and Bethan get from their patients, the input of the Teenage Cancer Trust and other charities, the unique role of the Youth Support Coordinator, and how the team is working with other NHS organisations in Wales to reach and support as many young people with cancer as possible in Wales.  To read more about Teenage Cancer Trust's work, visit their website. Other sites you may be interested in include Clic Sargent and the Wales Cancer Network. If you've been affected by anything in this episode and want to get in touch, please contact me via e-mail at or Twitter @CV_UHB
How we get around has a huge impact on not only our own health but the health of our society as a whole. The individual benefits of active travel, such as walking and cycling, reduce the risk of conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Meanwhile, this form of travel is more sustainable and can reduce the levels of air pollution, and associated health risks, in a city such as Cardiff. But can and should the NHS influence the way we choose to travel? In this episode, we chat to Dr Tom Porter, a Consultant in Public Health Medicine, about the work he is leading on in Cardiff and Vale UHB to try and encourage a large-scale shift in how we all get around. We discuss the unique Welsh legislation of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, the benefits of active travel and the dangers of an over-reliance on cars (including their contribution to social isolation), and how the health board is working alongside local councils to create large-scale organisational change. If you'd like to know more, please contact me via e-mail at or on Twitter @CV_UHB
The creative arts share a long history with healthcare in the UK with hospitals as early as the 14th century furnished with often religious pieces of art to which patients prayed for good health. But what is the function of art in 21st-century healthcare? There is a growing body of evidence to support the arts as making a powerful, positive contribution to the lives, health, and wellbeing of those in hospital. For patients, visitors and staff alike, the arts offer many benefits. Recently, the Welsh NHS Confederation found that access to, and participation in, the arts can improve health outcomes and patient wellbeing, counter inequalities and facilitate social engagement.  Cardiff and Vale UHB is leading the way in Wales in the field of creative arts in healthcare, as the University Hospital Llandough is home to the only hospital-based art gallery, The Hearth Gallery, in the country.  In this moving episode, we chat to Simone Joslyn, Head of Arts at Cardiff and Vale UHB, to discuss the impact that the arts really have on people in healthcare, the history of The Hearth Gallery, and some of the other projects that are facilitated by the health board. You can find out more about the UHB's arts programme and some of the evidence around the work on the arts team's website, or contact me via e-mail at or on Twitter at @CV_UHB
Around 10% of the NHS' UK-wide annual budget is spent on the treatment of diabetes and the complications of diabetes, and it is reported that this number is expected to rise over the coming decades. How can the NHS adapt to ensure that it can continue to treat patients with diabetes, and improve their outcomes, in a way that is sustainable long-term? A team at Cardiff and Vale UHB may have found a way of working that could offer a solution. We chat to Dr. Lindsay George, a consultant diabetologist, about the work he and his team have been doing to begin to move diabetes care out of hospital and into the community. We also talk about how specialist diabetes consultants are establishing better links with the primary care teams across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, which is helping to reduce waiting times for patients, and how, by carefully assessing the types of insulin prescribed to diabetic patients in the community, the health board has been able to fund specialist community diabetes nurses, whose presence has resulted in not only a reduction in the cost of diabetes care but also a dramatic improvement in their patients' ability to manage their condition.  If you'd like to get in touch, please e-mail us at or do so on Twitter @CV_UHB
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