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case study

Hwyel Dda

Hywel Dda Health Board was created in 2009 as part of the major change that the NHS in Wales undertook to enable it to deliver a higher quality of healthcare to the Welsh people.  It encompasses 3 counties – Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire – and provides care across 4 Acute sites, a series of smaller community hospitals, health centres and mental health units. It is a complex organisation with more than 10,000 staff and continues to grow in numbers – seeing considerable investment in health from the Welsh government.


Developing a future agile working strategy

Hywel Dda University Health Board wanted to design a new operating model and accompanying estate strategy that was not only aligned to their vision, but that took maximum advantage of the step change in the way their staff delivered their services and their patients accessed those services necessitated by the covid pandemic. This created an opportunity to rationalise how, when and where they worked and where services were delivered to best support their patients and streamline their accommodation needs, freeing up back-office space for clinical use, reducing costs and potentially generating capital receipts.

Baker Stuart were engaged to develop the strategy for this “New Ways of Working“ project, to engage with the 11,000 staff across multiple locations in South West Wales and analyse their current geographically and operationally diverse portfolio of buildings. Our role also encompassed reviewing and making recommendations on workplace culture and the use of both their clinical and non-clinical workplaces. A specific focus of our recommendations was to develop a number of new local hubs for non-clinical staff whilst also creating an overarching estate strategy and implementation plan that could be used across the estate to help relieve pressure on clinical areas.

Our project was both clinical and non-clinical focused. The requirement was to optimise the existing property portfolio where appropriate and recommend disposal of properties where it would be more efficient and effective for the new operating model.


Baker Stuart undertook a thorough consultation programme alongside a review and analysis of current property assets:

A series of structured interviews and workshops with teams from all Directorates and some external partners to understand staff needs, perceptions, key adjacencies / interactions and to develop a vision for hybrid service delivery (face to face and virtual) and flexible / hybrid working by the boards employees.

Development of a hybrid working strategy and conceptual workplace designs for the local agile working hubs which could also be rolled out to other council buildings.

Close collaboration with the Asset Management team to undertake a detailed review of buildings in strategic locations as potential hubs; reviewing location, capacity, suitability, and costs and backlog maintenance.


Long term workplace strategy

  • Co-development of a new approach to agile working with the Health Board to include digital solutions and smart office technology and intelligent design elements.
  • Optimisation of corporate services with opportunities to maximise space use, co-locations and collaborative spaces.
  • Release of space for clinical use or identification of surplus land.
  • Formation of feasible options tested from a capital and revenue perspective.
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