Simon Carley-Smith, a third year physiotherapy student at Cardiff University, developed a promotional video for students that highlighted the sickness rate in NHS Wales, the staff groups most affected and how this issue was being tackled.
Simon, who chaired the forum in 2013, strongly believed that one of the greatest challenges facing future healthcare professionals was changing people’s attitudes and beliefs towards healthier living; particularly with regard to levels of activity and diet.
Following on from this video, Claire Harries, a second year Learning Disabilities Nursing student at the University of South Wales, established an active walking group within her university to further promote the benefits of healthy living and exercise amongst the student population.
Tim Nagle, a second year Mental Health Nursing student at Cardiff University, arranged an Alcohol Brief Intervention learning day for the WHSF in January 2015. Regulators provided an overview to the WHSF on how substance misuse may impact on their professional registration. The learning day also allowed service users to talk about their recovery and how they would like to be cared for. WHSF members who attended received training in Alcohol Brief Interventions, a useful intervention for all healthcare disciplines.
In the Spring of 2015, members of the WHSF took part in a Leadership and Teamwork Training day run by the Territorial Army in Cardiff. This training day highlighted the importance of teamwork and effective leadership to the students whilst also providing a huge sense of accomplishment on completion of the command tasks.
Since the introduction of the WHSF, students have benefitted from a range of professional learning sessions including presentations from Health Inspectorate Wales, 1000 lives, medics in the Armed Forces and an introduction to the Welsh language.
All Welsh healthcare students are also invited to the WHSF conference which is held every two years. The conference, arranged by members of the WHSF, is a great opportunity for healthcare students studying in Wales to learn about their NHS whilst also benefiting from sharing and networking with fellow students. Two conferences have been held since 2013, with an opening address from both the Welsh Minster for Health and the Welsh Deputy Minister for Health.