Response to the Auditor General's report on informatics systems in NHS Wales January 2018

Welsh NHS Confederation

High-quality, integrated informatics systems are vital to delivering health and care across Wales

The Auditor General’s report on informatics systems was released today, with 13 recommendations to improve the approach to informatics in the Welsh NHS.

Vanessa Young, Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:

We need high-quality informatics systems to support the delivery of NHS health and care services in Wales. The right technology will improve efficiency, enable the significant change required to services, and help people better manage their own health and wellbeing.

Creating an electronic record for every patient, that can be accessed by all services across the NHS in Wales must be an absolute priority for the service.

To achieve this, the obstacles and challenges highlighted in the Auditor General’s report have to be addressed. Welsh Government must work with the NHS to agree clear actions and an effective delivery plan, and ensure that the funding needed is in place to create an electronic patient record within a realistic timeframe.

This will require the integration of existing informatics systems, which is challenging but key to improving our system-wide performance. Work needs to be done to establish common standards across the systems, including social care, to enable effective integration. It is important that clinicians and IT specialists have the capacity and skills to collaborate on system design so that technology solutions meet clinical needs, resulting in the best outcomes for patients.

We also with the Auditor General that current governance arrangements need to be strengthened to support whole-system oversight and accountability, to improve prioritisation, delivery and monitoring of the actions required to benefit patients across Wales.

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