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Background and Role of Unit


The NHS Liaison Unit was established in 1996 under the direction of Dr Alun Roberts. Its original remit was to support the implementation of the Culyer and Winyard Reports within Wales. Following Dr Roberts’ retirement, Mr Mike Grant became Director of NHS Liaison on 1st August 2004.

Role of the NHS Liaison Unit

The Unit is part of the office of the Corporate Services Directorate headed by Dr Chris Turner. The general role of the Unit is to facilitate good relationships between the University and its NHS partners particularly in the delivery of high quality medical education.


The Unit has an all Wales role organising and attending annual teaching review meetings between the Dean of Medicine and College officers and the managerial and clinical staff at all the NHS Health Boards and NHS Trusts in Wales.

The Unit works closely with the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and services the activities of the University / Health Board Partnership Board.

The Unit has responsibility for preparing the annual SIFT (Service Increment for Teaching) Teaching Census for the Welsh Government (WG) to assist in the decision making of the allocation of SIFT funding. In addition, it prepares a SIFT Accountability Report for Wales each year for submission to the Welsh Government. It was also instrumental in the preparation of the annual SIFT Educational Agreements between the NHS in Wales and the University and maintains a co-ordinating role.

A major part of the work of the Unit is in support of the University’s quality assurance strategies in the implementation and co-ordination of a centralised systematic process of student evaluation of clinical attachments thereby assuring the University and WG of the quality of medical education in Wales. The Unit also liaises with District General Hospitals regarding the award of appropriate honorary titles to NHS colleagues in recognition of their teaching contribution.

The Unit has in recent years been involved in supporting the Dean of Medicine and other colleagues in planning the medical student expansion programme and supporting the subsequent establishment of the Swansea Clinical School and the planning of Clinical Schools in Gwent and North Wales.

The Director and SIFT Co-ordinator are members of various University, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and all Wales committees, providing a University / NHS liaison, SIFT or student evaluation perspective. In recent years the Unit has collaborated with colleagues in the Nuffield Trust in addressing general themes relating to the academic / NHS interface.

The Unit also administers a number of healthcare related Endowment Funds which provide financial support in a number of areas such as travel (Banfill, Thomas, Williams and Pilcher Funds), research (Davey, Demery, Hopkins and Owen Funds) and hardship (Bassett Fund). Details on the specific criteria for eligibility and use of these Funds are available from the Director of the Unit.

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