22 organisations come together to call for a single national body with strategic oversight of NHS Wales to drive improvements in patient care and hold health boards to account.
As one health board fears that this winter will be the ‘most challenging period in NHS history’, doctors in north Wales say that patients are dying in ambulances and waiting rooms due to overcrowding and the first minister calls long ambulance waits ‘clearly not acceptable’, a group of 22 organisations working across health and social care have come together to launch Ending the postcode lottery (attached) which calls for an end to fragmented NHS Wales services and the creation of a single, independent executive to improve care standards.
A single, independent national NHS organisation would be better placed to improve patient care and deliver on the aims of A healthier Wales, the Welsh government’s plan for health and social care. An independent body with the right powers would have the authority to:
- support system transformation across health board boundaries
- play a national leadership role in service improvement
- collect and analyse data to improve performance
- improve patient outcomes across clinical specialties, public health and inequalities
- provide strong governance and accountability to ensure that the NHS in Wales gets the best value from its combined resources.
Dr Olwen Williams, RCP vice president for Wales said:
‘First promised by the Welsh government in 2018, we have seen almost no progress on the creation of an NHS Wales Executive to drive improvements in patient care. Doctors have repeatedly raised concerns with the Welsh government about the very real postcode lottery of care which comes at an enormous human and financial cost. Regional health planning would allow for a more strategic approach – but this is not happening effectively in most of Wales and is certainly not happening quickly enough. A single national body with strategic oversight would be able to drive transformation more quickly and more efficiently. Let’s face it, the current system is not working.’