Changemakers: Building the Future through Partnership


University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to note that the Wales Institute of Digital Information (WIDI), its strategic partnership with NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) to create a pipeline of appropriately qualified staff, is featured in the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) State of the Relationship Report 2019.


Wendy Dearing, Andrew Griffiths, Medwin Hughes, Randolph Thomas and Ian Wells stand in a line between two light blue WIDI banners.

The report celebrates those seeking to affect, drive and shape the future of collaboration to make the UK more productive and inclusive and was launched at an event in London today.

The NHS Wales Informatics Service has for many years been trying to professionalise and stabilise their workforce. Job roles have evolved creating a need to develop a paradigm shift in the way the profession is perceived by itself and others.

Currently the profession is a broad church with many different entry points; there were around 3000 direct and associated staff at the end of 2016. One area, Health Informatics, is fundamental to the safe delivery of patient care and to maintain public trust in the secure handling of personal health and care information. To support this, a strategic partnership between NWIS and UWTSD has created the Wales Institute of Digital Information (WIDI).

Formally launched on March 30th 2017, WIDI has developed 4 part-time BSc (Hons) degrees in: Data & Information Systems; Business and Information Systems; Computer Networks & Cyber Security and Software Engineering. All streams are accredited by the British Computer Society giving graduates Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status. Additionally, the software engineering programmes gained partial Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.

Three of these degrees will operate as level 6 Digital Degree Apprenticeships in Wales and have 58 students enrolled for the operational year with an expected further 60 apprentices starting in September 2019. The level 4 apprenticeship in Health Informatics has been created with significant help from the Work-Based Learning Team at Coleg Sir Gar and will be the only programme of its type in the UK. Around 100 students have started this apprenticeship with Coleg Sir Gar - part of the dual sector University group – with a distance learning version being created for delivery across Wales, the UK and internationally.

A reproduction of page 117 of the 2019 State of the Relationship report. The full report is available to read online for free.

The project is having a profound impact on NWIS’s workforce development and is having a very positive impact on the morale of the whole workforce; NWIS has now moved all 120 of its staff in the West Wales region into a University building. The relationship is becoming an organic process with new benefits emerging on a weekly basis. Masterclasses have been delivered by NWIS staff for UWTSD students and Degree Apprentices; in return UWTSD Academics have delivered short, specific CPD programmes for NWIS staff. Four NWIS senior staff are now engaged in PhD research in business focussed areas and presented their initial findings at the Wales-Chongqing health conference in 2018.

As a result, the project is being looked at as a positive model by the rest of the UK NHS and has even developed significant links with China. The team are now in conversation with Fuji Film and Microsoft about collaborating on wider research projects through WIDI.

Published annually, the 2019 report is the 6th edition of the State of the Relationship and is entitled Changemakers: Building the future through partnership.  Copies of the report can be downloaded from the NCUB website.


The front cover of the 2019 State of the Relationship report, which is available to read online.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071