New figures reveal that Welsh industry’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has generated millions of pounds for the Welsh economy and supported the creation and safeguarding of hundreds of jobs across the country.
Life Sciences Hub Wales, who were appointed by Welsh Government to support industry engagement with NHS Wales throughout the pandemic, reveal that Welsh businesses have contributed more than £34m to the economy as well as supporting over 620 jobs.
A new Welsh NHS Confederation briefing sets out how businesses across Wales have strategically united to help combat Covid-19 by ramping up production, innovating and converting operations to help develop and supply critically needed solutions. In many cases, this was supported by the Welsh Government’s SMARTCymru fund, which helps Welsh businesses to develop, implement and commercialise new products, processes and services.
In April, a collaboration between Life Sciences Hub Wales, Industry Wales and the Welsh Government, issued a national call to industry urging businesses to offer their support to help NHS Wales’ response to Covid-19. That call was attended by over 150 business and thousands of offers of support were made to Life Sciences Hub Wales, which was appointed as the single point of contact to receive, manage and refer appropriate enquiries on to NHS Wales.
Working with NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, the organisation continued to work with businesses in an array of sectors to deliver desperately needed products and equipment for frontline services. It included personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser, digital health services solutions and critical testing facilities with capabilities to support national testing strategies.
Welsh partnerships and innovations continue to help to treat and protect people across the country as well as further afield, with solutions exported all over the globe.
The Welsh NHS Confederation and Life Sciences Hub Wales have produced a briefing that illustrates industry’s role in supporting NHS Wales to respond to the pandemic. In particular, the report highlights the vital importance of partnerships between industry and the health and social care sectors.
Cari-Anne Quinn, CEO of Life Sciences Hub Wales said: “This year, we have seen Welsh businesses adapting and innovating to offer their support in the response to Covid-19. Our partnership with the Welsh NHS Confederation and a steering group of senior colleagues from health and social care ensures that we fully aware of the challenges they are facing which enables us to work with industry to find solutions.
“We have been amazed by the creativity and commitment seen not only from members of our thriving life sciences industry, but also from businesses across a range of other sectors who have worked with agility and pace to create urgently needed solutions to respond to the pandemic.
“The efforts of our native business and the multinationals who have joined us are actively helping to save lives both in Wales and beyond. Their work has also assisted many jobs and generated millions for the economy which is testament to the level of talent we have here in Wales.”
Through working in partnership with the Welsh NHS Confederation and the NHS, Life Sciences Hub Wales is committed to supporting the acceleration and adoption of innovation across health and social care. Together, they work to build upon the relationships established throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to continue to create a more resilient and robust healthcare system in Wales and beyond.
Darren Hughes, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said: “Our partnerships with organisations like Life Sciences Hub Wales have been essential to supporting NHS Wales organisations and dedicated staff through the pandemic.
“Their support has been invaluable and has demonstrated the importance of collaborations between industry and healthcare services to deliver change at pace and scale. We look forward to continuing to build on this relationship which will be key to not only improving the future health and wellbeing of people in Wales, but also to supporting a healthy and sustainable economy.”