RCP Cymru Wales has published its response to the Senedd health and social care committee short inquiry into hospital discharge and its impact on patient flow through hospitals.
- Virtual wards and ‘hospital at home’ services: We need to expand the number of virtual wards and ‘hospital at home’ services that provide specialist medical care in the community across Wales. These teams can help to reduce hospital admissions, get people home more quickly, and improve the quality of patient care.
- Health and care workforce shortages: There are not enough doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and social care staff in the system. This is a key barrier to achieving better patient flow: a comprehensive, funded Wales-wide workforce plan, backed by accessible and transparent data and led nationally by the NHS Wales Executive should bring together both short-term actions (to reduce current pressures) with longer-term measures (to ensure that the NHS is able to recover and rebuild post-pandemic).
- Action on health inequalities: The Welsh government should develop a cross-government strategy to tackle avoidable illness and reduce health inequalities. Many of the barriers to truly integrated health and social care exist outside the structures of the NHS and will only be achieved through cross-government action, shared performance measures and outcomes, led by the first minister.