Health policy played a central role in the campaigns of all political parties during the National Assembly for Wales election in May 2016. The RCP believes that this debate must be depoliticised, that it is the responsibility of every healthcare professional to lead improvements, and that any future changes to care must be patient centred, evidence based and clinically led.
The RCP calls on all political parties in Wales to commit to our four-point action plan for the next Welsh Government.
- Implement a new patient-centred approach to NHS change - Change must be patient centred, clinically led and evidence based, and must not be about cutting costs alone. Reconfiguration should be based on the Future Hospital model of care, in which care comes to the patient and is coordinated around their needs.
- Invest now in the Welsh NHS to ensure good care in the future - Our hospitals are under-resourced and under pressure – an increase in funding is needed. Health boards and politicians must support clinicians to develop innovative solutions to the challenges facing the NHS, especially in rural and remote areas. A renewed focus should be placed on developing models of integrated care and improving the experience of frail patients and their families.
- Focus on developing and supporting the medical workforce - It is time for a national medical workforce and training plan for Wales, including a new strategic approach to recruitment. Junior doctors and medical students must be encouraged to stay in Wales with new training pathways, improved workload and more clinical leadership opportunities.
- Reduce health inequalities and improve public health - Politicians and government must show national leadership on public health. Legislation should be used where there is evidence to support its use, including standardised packaging for tobacco products, a minimum unit price for alcohol of 50p per unit, and exploring the use of taxes on sugary soft drinks to help combat obesity.
You can read about existing examples of innovative practice and listen to doctors talking about how they achieved change in their hospital, as well as inform the RCP’s work in Wales by sending us your comments, ideas and examples of good practice.