Community care reducing pressure on hospitals now and in the future

The Welsh NHS Confederation publish a report detailing examples of services delivered closer to home to improve access to healthcare.

31 October 2022

As health and care services continue to face unrivalled system pressures, NHS organisations and partners are working to keep people well outside of hospital settings and treat more patients in the community.

A report published at the Welsh NHS Confederation Annual Conference and Exhibition details examples of services delivered closer to people’s homes to improve access to healthcare. The NHS also works in partnership with local organisations to deliver initiatives to help prevent illness and alleviate future demand on the health and care system.

One such partnership exists between Health Education and Improvement Wales and Natural Resources Wales, promoting green social prescribing to trainee GPs. Cardiff and Vale UHB is using its creative partnership with Welsh National Opera to provide rehabilitation support to those with long COVID and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board is working with local schools to provide support to children with stammers, helping give them the confidence to communicate effectively.

It highlights how more services are being brought into the community, like Public Health Wales NHS Trust’s high street multi-screening service in Mountain Ash and Swansea Bay University Health Board’s community clinic to aid faster diagnosis of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). These programmes and initiatives form part of a drive to create a stronger, healthier population in Wales, targeting health inequalities. By providing more services in the community, there’s less demand on primary and secondary care now and in the future.

Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Darren Hughes, said:

“Leaders from across the NHS, public sector, third sector and private sector will be at our annual conference, sharing ideas, reflecting, and learning from each other to find solutions to the challenges ahead.

“Headlines about the NHS are dominated by negative patient stories and statistics without context – focusing on everything the NHS isn’t doing or isn’t doing quickly enough. We understand that for many patients this is their reality, where they’re waiting longer than we’d like for treatment and sometimes longer than is acceptable for urgent and emergency care. But it can be easy to forget that thousands of appointments, treatments and services take place across Wales every day that have a positive impact on patient outcomes.

“The NHS is facing an enormous amount of pressure before we hit the hardest months of the year and there are issues across the system, including with patient flow. But that shouldn’t take away from the incredible work of staff to improve the situation for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of patients across Wales.”