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How Healthcare Happens

How Healthcare Happens

By Cardiff and Vale UHB
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.
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Sustainable and Active Travel

How Healthcare Happens

Equality in Health - Part Two: Race, Healthcare, and Black Lives Matter
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 
August 20, 2020
Equality in Health - Part One: LGBT+ Health
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 
August 20, 2020
The Chief Executive with Len Richards
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.
June 04, 2020
The Food System and Food Insecurity with Katie Palmer
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.
June 01, 2020
Clinical Trials, Research and Development with Professor Chris Fegan
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. 
June 01, 2020
Palliative Care with Dr Mark Taubert
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.
June 01, 2020
Communications, Social Media, and Fake News with Joanne Brandon
In the ninth episode of the COVID-19 series, Bryn talks to Joanne Brandon, Director of the Communications, Arts, Health Charity  and Engagement team about the role of communications during a crisis. They also talk about the nature of public trust in experts in the age of social media, information saturation and individualism, as well as fake news, misinformation and what we can do to combat it.
May 21, 2020
District Nursing with Jackie Horsey
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.
May 21, 2020
General Practice - Part Two with Dr David Meades
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.
May 21, 2020
General Practice - Part One with Dr Sarah Davies
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.
May 21, 2020
Feeding the Frontline with Sue Dickson-Davies
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.
April 24, 2020
The Psychology of COVID-19 with Dr Julie Highfield
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.
April 24, 2020
Critical Care with Dr Matt Morgan
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.
April 24, 2020
Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig / Dragon's Heart Hospital with Professor Jonathon Gray
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.
April 24, 2020
Virology with Dr Andrew Freedman
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.
April 24, 2020
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
December 23, 2019
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 
December 16, 2019
Teenage and Young Adult Cancer
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
December 09, 2019
Sustainable and Active Travel
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
December 02, 2019
Creative Arts in Healthcare
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
November 25, 2019
Diabetes Care in the Community
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
November 18, 2019
Social Prescribing
How would you feel if you visited your GP and they prescribed you a cycle ride or a bout of gardening? Social prescribing is a way for GPs, nurses, and other primary care professionals to offer people a range of activities and services instead of, or alongside, prescription medication. It's revolutionising community care in southwest Cardiff with other great examples across the city and in the Vale of the Glamorgan, all of which aim to keep people healthier for longer in their homes and communities. Leading the social prescribing agenda in Cardiff and Vale UHB is Dr. Karen Pardy, a GP at Lansdowne Surgery in Canton, Cardiff. Karen kindly agreed to chat to us for this episode to highlight some of the great examples of the work that she and her team are doing and ultimately, it can keep people from being admitted to hospital.  Bryn even asks Karen for her opinion on what type of activity she would recommend for him! If you're interested in some of the opportunities that we discuss, you don't have to have a referral from your GP, you can visit the Dewis Cymru website for an idea of the services and groups that might be in your area.  If you want to get in touch, you can contact us by e-mailing or on Twitter @CV_UHB
November 11, 2019
Bacteria and Antimicrobial Resistance
Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928. Nearly a century later, antibiotics are one of the biggest weapons in the healthcare arsenal with dozens of different types being prescribed to thousands and thousands of people across the world every day. But are we becoming over-reliant on their use and what would happen if they just stopped working? To answer this question and to see what the NHS, and Cardiff and Vale UHB specifically, is doing to combat the continual mutation of bacteria which is making them resistant to the drugs we use to treat them, we chat to Dafydd Thomas. Dafydd is a biomedical scientist who specialises in bacteria and who is based at the University Hospital of Wales and the University Dental Hospital. We talk about the science behind the prescribing decisions that healthcare staff make, what would happen if antibiotics stopped working, and how we can all take individual action to help in the fight against bacteria. I mention this video, which shows the speed at which bacteria mutate to overcome the chemicals in antibiotics and which was the inspiration for this episode when Dafydd used it as part of a presentation he gave at a conference in early 2019.  If you want to know more or would like to get in touch, e-mail me at or contact me on Twitter @CV_UHB
November 04, 2019
Caring for People with Learning Disabilities
One of the core principles of the NHS is to provide all people with equitable care and a core principle of Cardiff and Vale UHB's strategy is to put the patient at the heart of the decisions we make and the care we give. One person whose work is exemplary in this field is Andy Jones, the lead nurse for surgery and the lead for the care of people with learning disabilities at Cardiff and Vale UHB. In 2013 it was estimated that across the UK, 1200 adults with learning disabilities die avoidable deaths while in NHS care each year. In this episode, we talk to Andy to learn what steps the health board has been proactively taking to address this statistic. Andy tells us about how he was moved to action by the findings of an independent inquiry he participated in a number of years ago, what action he has taken in the health board since then, how working with the third sector has helped him begin to improve things, and what more can the NHS can do to adequately meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in society. If you're affected by the content of this episode, or you would like to get involved with Andy's work and become a Learning Disability Champion, please contact me by emailing or on Twitter @CV_UHB. 
November 04, 2019
Transforming Healthcare
Transformation: It's a word which you may have heard in relation to healthcare in Wales but what does it actually mean? What are services transforming from and what will they look like in the future? To begin to answer these huge questions, we chat to Ruth Jordan, the head of Cardiff and Vale UHB's Improvement and Implementation Team. We discuss the health board's ten-year strategy, Shaping Our Future Wellbeing, digital technology, care in the community, and who has the power to make change. It might not be who you expect! If you're interested in learning more about how things are changing at Cardiff and Vale UHB, please visit to meet Wyn, the conceptual patient at the heart of the organisation's decision making, and read about some of the examples of best practice.  Please like and subscribe to this brand new podcast if you have enjoyed it and consider recommending it to a friend or colleague! If you want to get in touch, please e-mail or do so on Twitter @CV_UHB
November 04, 2019
Welcome to How Healthcare Happens
Welcome to How Healthcare Happens, a brand new podcast from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board all about how the NHS works and all the things you might not know it does. Across this series, we'll talk to a number of inspirational innovators from the one of the largest NHS organisations in the UK to find out how they work and how they're trying to make things better. 
October 29, 2019