Response to the update on the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme

Welsh NHS Confederation director Darren Hughes response to the update from the Welsh Government on the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme.

28 November 2023

Responding to the Welsh Government’s statement on the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said: 

“We welcome the direction of travel for the Rebalancing Care and Support Programme set out in the minister’s oral statement. 

“Healthcare leaders understand large scale system change takes time and must be done in partnership. They know better than most that these things can’t be solved overnight, particularly with the current financial challenges for local government and the NHS. 

“However, we need radical action now to stop the situation from deteriorating and to avoid further harm to those most in need of care and support. As time passes, the starker the challenges facing the social care sector become, the greater the impact on the NHS’s ability to provide high quality care and treat patients when they need it most. 

“Social care is of critical importance, not just enabling timely discharge of patients from hospital, reducing demand on emergency departments, GPs and other services but most importantly in keeping people well and safe. 

“All NHS organisations continue to work closely with local authorities, private providers and voluntary organisations to find innovative ways to use finite budgets to improve patient flow and make sure people are receiving the care best-suited to their needs. But unfortunately, this is not enough to achieve enough of a positive impact on people’s wellbeing, in turn reducing pressure on the system. 

“With more people needing care than ever before and local authorities, care providers and NHS organisations facing squeezed budgets in light of cost-of-living pressures, there’s concern over the stability of the sector this winter and beyond and ultimately, what this means for patients, the public and staff. We must see action now.”