About the NHS in Wales

An overview of health and social care delivery in Wales.

12 May 2021

The Welsh Government sets the strategic framework and formulates the health and social care policy which is to be implemented by NHS Wales and its partners when planning and delivering services for the people of Wales.

The NHS in Wales delivers services through seven Local Health Boards, three NHS Trusts and two Special Health Authorities.

Health boards

The seven Local Health Boards are responsible for planning and securing the delivery of primary, community and secondary care services alongside specialist services for their areas. These services include dentistry, optometry, pharmacy and mental health services. They are also responsible for delivering services in partnership, improving physical and mental health outcomes, promoting wellbeing and reducing health inequalities across their population.

The seven local health boards are:

  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
  • Hywel Dda University Health Board
  • Powys Teaching Health Board
  • Swansea Bay University Health Board

NHS trusts

There are three NHS trusts with an all-Wales focus.

  • Public Health Wales NHS Trust is the national public health agency that works to protect and improve health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities for the people of Wales.
  • Velindre University NHS Trust provides specialist cancer services across South and Mid Wales through Velindre Cancer Centre and a national service through the Welsh Blood Service.
  • Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust provides a range of out-of-hospital, emergency and non-emergency services.

Special health authorities

There are two special health authorities in Wales.

  • Digital Health and Care Wales leads on digital platforms, systems and services and collecting and analysing health service data across Wales.
  • Health Education and Improvement Wales has a leading role in the education, training, development and shaping of the healthcare workforce across Wales.