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Regional Innovation Coordination Hub

Welcome to the RIC Hub!

What is the Powys Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub?


The Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub (RIC Hub) in Powys was established in April 2020, and is part of a wider network of other hubs across Wales. The Hubs are funded through Welsh Government Transformation Funding and is part of a wider commitment to creating A Healthier Wales for health and social care. The aim of the Powys RIC Hub is to co-ordinate and support Research, Innovation and Improvement activity across the footprint of Powys. We are hosted by Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) via The School of Research, Development and Innovation which is one of four schools within the Health and Care Academy, but is a regionally available resource for all those in the Regional Partnership Board (RPB) footprint in Powys.


The RIC Hub is passionate about improving and creating new ways of working for health and social care services that will benefit the population of Powys. We have a team of experts who can support you in your research, innovation or improvement journey. If you’re involved or would like to be involved in any health or social care research, innovation or improvement projects we would love to hear from you on

RIC Hub Logo. A purple light bulb with a white diamond with lightbulb in the middle and a lake behind

Here to help you

We have a great team working to support Research, Innovation and Improvement. Please see below for team members and their contact details. 

If what you're looking for isn't here, please contact us at for further information and support 

Amanda Edwards

Amanda Edwards, Assistant Director of Innovation and Improvement

As the Assistant Director I have lead responsibility for the growth and delivery of Research, Innovation and Improvement across the Health Board. 

Caroline Evans

Caroline Evans, RIC Hub Manager

As the Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub Manger, I’m responsible for making Powys a place where innovation and improvement activities are undertaken. Please contact me if you’d like to know more. 

Alan Woodall

Alan Woodall, Clinical Lead for Research

As clinical research lead for PTHB, I support the RI&I team and individuals in Powys wishing to pursue research opportunities. I have expertise in conducting research and I can offer support in areas such as bid writing and collaboration.

Howard Cooper

Howard Cooper, Safety and Quality Improvement Manager

In my role as Safety and Quality Improvement (QI) Manager, I train individuals in QI methodology. This is defined as a systematic approach to understanding a problem, determining the data and support in understanding which change is needed. 

Amy Price

Amy Price, Research and Development Manager

As the R&D Manager, it’s my responsibility that all research is ethical and follows guidelines making PTHB a place where research is conducted safely and efficiently. If you'd like to know more, please feel free to contact me for a chat.   

Jessica Bardsley

Jessica Bardsley, RIC Hub Business Support Manager

I am the Business Support Manager for the Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub and provide support to the Hub Manager. I am responsible for co-ordinating Innovation and Improvement activity across the Powys footprint.

Amelia Tame

Amelia Tame, Prentisiaeth Marchnata Digidol

Hello/Shwmae, As the first digital marketing apprentice for PTHB, I work with the Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub to improve and raise our digital profile 

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy, RIC Hub Admin Support Officer

I provide administration support to the Regional Innovation Co-ordination Hub and I am responsible for supporting the RIC Hub Business Support Manager

John Powell

John Powell,Digital Integrated Care Fellow

I am the Digital Integrated Care Fellow (DICF) seconded to The RIC Hub to assess and improve digital technology across Powys. If you like to know more, please feel free to contact me.

Joshua Rowland

Joshua Rowland, Research and Development Support Assistant

I support the R&D Manager to deliver safe and efficient research across the Powys footprint, in line with research governance framework.   

Introduction to Innovation

What is Innovation? 

Innovation is a vital part of how we work in Powys. We can support you in the adoption of new innovative approaches and ways of working, alongside supporting the development and design of new ideas.  

We recognise the need for creative and innovative solutions for the recovery and renewal of health and care teams and services post-pandemic. 

Coming up with great ideas for new and innovative solutions that can improve health and care services is a great place to start the innovation process. 

an open hand with innovative ideas floating around it

How can we define Innovation?

We take a broad and permissive definition, including:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • It covers product and process, such as ’doing things differently’, as well as ‘doing different things'

  • It could be a new technology, a new service, a new way of doing things

  • It could involve an innovative combination of existing ideas, or implementing them in a new setting in an innovative way

Scale and Involvement

From small improvements to revolutionary new ideas, from one person making a change, to hundreds working together.

It can be broken down into a process or set of activities throughout which, a commitment to evidence acts as a core unifying theme.

Innovation needs the right conditions to flourish but it doesn’t just happen! 

Myth Busting 

MYTH: Innovation is only associated with research activity

MYTH: Innovation only involves new technologies, medical devices or drugs

MYTH: You need to be working with companies to engage in innovation

Open hands with a money symbol, a house symbol and a medical symbol

Benefits of Innovation

  • Patient benefits - improved outcomes, better patient experience, improved compliance and improved safety.

  • Organisational benefits - improved quality, greater efficiency, increased productivity and cost improvements.

  • Financial benefits – Value, research income, new services and commercial activity.


Why Evaluate?

Evaluation of innovations is essential – The ‘level’ of evaluation can be scaled to the innovation being explored and provides a key insight into your innovation including..

Evidence whether the innovation has been a success (or not)!


  • Without evaluation all you have is advocacy. This is a very poor basis for decision making, yet it remains common.

  • Not all innovations work. But it is vital to provide evidence either way: open failures should be celebrated!

  • Evidence should be robust enough for decision making. Should we continue? Scale up? Stop altogether? It also needs to show what was achieved – both intended and unintended consequences.

Identify the factors that facilitated any success

  • If innovations are to be scaled up, it is important to understand factors that led to their success (e.g. leadership of a senior clinician?)

  • It is also important to understand the context in which the innovation was delivered…it may be that a pre-existing factor in the system was key to success, which could be unavailable in a different setting.

A green graph on the left going up and a red graph on the right going down

Identify what didn’t work well

  • Even ‘successful’ innovations have elements that don’t work well. It is important to identify and learn from these so the innovation can be refined if spread.

  • ‘Unsuccessful innovations’ provide especially valuable lessons: not replicating failure is a quick way to save money!

The cost and complexity of the evaluation should be in line with cost of the intervention…

  • Different approaches can be taken at different stages of the innovation life (e.g., audit data may be sufficient at the pilot stage but would not be sufficient to scale up an expensive innovation across a larger footprint).

  • The approach should always provide enough evidence to move to the next stage of development.

Introduction to Improvement

A woman in a lab coat with a test tube in her hand

Growing a culture of improvement and learning

We aim to equip our staff and those that work alongside us with confidence to identify improvement opportunities in their areas, and the ability to make those improvements, measuring and demonstrating the impact that they have on services and patient experience.

Need some inspiration? These are some examples of Improvement that have taken place in Powys: 

Example 1

Subject:  To reduce the number of inappropriate interruptions to patient services team in Llandrindod Hospital by 90% in 6 months 

Project by: Julia Toy; Programme Management Office  

Case for Change: Staff were dissatisfied with their current working practice which they felt was both inefficient in delivery and personally stressful. 

Results: Administration staff analysed the main causes of disruption to their everyday tasks.  A key theme emerged that staff were being contacted by the public about issues they could not themselves resolve leading to disruption of both their time and that of colleagues from who they sought help.   Work arrangements were altered so that a single member of staff took all contacts with the public.  This member of staff was given supporting information documents to allow for the vast majority of calls to be resolved.  The remaining members of the team were therefore freed to perform their own tasks uninterrupted.   Julia was asked to present this work at a national 1000 Lives event. 

Example 2

Subject:  The adaption of the National Early Warning Score methodology for use in a Community Hospital setting. 

Project by: Howard Cooper; Safety and Quality Improvement Manager

Case for Change: As a non-acute healthcare provider PTHB had potential vulnerabilities around the introduction of the all-Wales National Early Warning Score. 

Results: The project successfully adapted a proposed national patient observation-based safety matrix designed for acute care for use in a community hospital setting.   The project was a finalist entry in the NHS Wales Awards scheme. 

All Powys wards are now using the National Early Warning Score and work is underway to encourage adaption by the private residential and nursing homes in Powys.  Interest has been expressed in the work by health professionals in Southwest England, Ireland and Australia as well as non-healthcare settings such as the prison service 


Example 3

Subject:  To make 100% of patients discharged from the Powys Stroke/Neuro-rehab service aware of further relevant services that are available to them. 

Project by: Kathryn Lloyd; Service Development Manager Therapies  

Case for Change:  Stroke patients complained that after a period of quite intensive clinical care and rehabilitation in the immediate aftermath of their stroke that they felt isolated and unsupported after discharge. 

Results: One of the largest challenges faced by stroke patients is adapting to life after their stroke.  At a time when they may feel particularly vulnerable and disorientated, they are asked to take on a vast amount of information concerning their future care.  This project successfully analysed what the patients’ information needs were and sought to provide it by means of a web site which was developed by means of patient and carer feedback. 

Jargon Busters

Sometimes, the language we use in particular areas of work can be difficult to understand. Often there are many abbreviations and technical terms that you might feel unfamiliar with when reading new information. We have created a jargon buster below to help navigate some of the technical terms we might use in Research, Innovation and Improvement - or just generally. 

R&D - Research and Development 

RI&I - Research, Innovation & Improvement 

PI  - Principle Investigator 

CI  - Chief Investigator 

HRA  - Health Research Authority 

IRAS - Integrated Research Application System 

REC - Research Ethics Committee 

SoECAT - Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template    

OID - Organisation Information Document 

LIP - Local Information Pack    

GCP - Good Clinical Practice   

HCRW - Health and Care Research Wales   

Random Letters

Tools and Resources

Below are some additional resources and tools to help you get started, find out more or get answers to questions. If you feel there are any missing tools or resources from this repository, or you would like to find out more about the training we can offer, please contact us at  




Quality Improvement in Practice
What is Research 
The Innovation Cycle
5 Tips to Improve your Critical Thinking
What come to mind when you think about Research?
What people get wrong about Innovation 
Different coloured books

Research and Development 

What do we mean about research?


Research is the process of discovering new knowledge by having a 'lightbulb' moment.  

This can be developing new concepts or improving existing knowledge or theories, which leads to a new understanding that was not previously known.   

Where would we be without research?


We would be without medications, treatments and diagnostic tests that save and improve lives within Powys and across the world. 

Could you imagine not being able to take Paracetamol as pain relief? 

Or, trying to cross a busy road without traffic lights?   

Without research these options would not be available, by being proactive in research could help improve the future of treatments, care and services across Powys Teaching Health Board. 

Who can take part in research?


The answer is simple, anyone can be involved in research. 

Your probably already taking part in research in your day-to-day life without realising, as research informs and broadens your understanding before making a decision. 

Why is it important to conduct research in Powys?


Research is important today as it will benefit the patients of tomorrow. Research can help to improve care and treatment options available at Powys Teaching Health Board. 

More information about research


You will have the full support from the R&D team who can offer expert advice for any concerns that you may have in relation to research. 

The team can support with all aspects of research from registration, funding, governance, and lots more. 

More information about research process and partners can be found using the buttons below:

Panel y Ddraig

Panel y Ddraig is Welsh for Dragon Panel and is our Powys take on Dragon's Den. ​​​​​​​

We are excited to be working together with PTHB Charitable Funds Committee who have supported our work through the establishment of a new grant scheme to support innovative projects.

This fund will enable us to increase the number of people who participate in research, innovation and improvement, and the scope of opportunities to be involved across Powys and our communities.  It would also allow us to implement internal funding calls available to all staff, for small grants and dedicated time to generate the evidence for new research, innovation and improvement proposals.

How does it work? 

Applicants are required to complete a simple two-page application form. This asks for an outline of the idea, how it will make a difference, and what financial or practical support is needed to get it to work. Applications are reviewed by a panel which considers if the application contains enough information to continue and if the application is feasible and fits with our Powys objectives.

All those that meet the above criteria will be invited to present their idea to Panel y Ddraig.

All projects will be assigned a ‘sponsor’, who will support applicants with their presentation/ pitch.

Successful applicants are encouraged to evaluate the effectiveness of successful bids once implemented.

More information on how to apply, and the relevant terms and conditions associated with Panel y Ddraig will be updated shortly.

If you'd like more information on how to innovate, or general questions you can contact us by using one of the buttons below. 
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