Responding to the Welsh Government's calls ahead of the debate on the NHS in 10+ years in the Senedd this afternoon, Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation said:
“For over a year, we have been calling for a cross-government, cross-sector public conversation on the future of health and care services and how we can better support the population’s health and wellbeing.
“We know the public have an enduring faith in the NHS and its founding principles, but we also know that our health and care services are not sustainable in their current form. The changing make-up of our population – including an ageing population with increased frailty and long-term conditions - brings with it immense challenges for all sectors and to individuals themselves.
“Last month, over 30 organisations from a range of sectors in Wales came together to support our calls for a public conversation, with a collective belief that it’s for all government departments, ministers and sectors to ask what they can do to support the health and wellbeing of people now and in the future. If we are to meet the needs of future generations, we must take decisive action now to come together as a One Wales Public Service to co-produce and redesign services, so that all public and third sector services remain sustainable.
“It’s not an option to continue on the current trajectory. We need an open and honest conversation with the public about what the future health and care service looks like and the part we must all play in our own health and wellbeing. This is not just a conversation about the NHS and health, but a conversation about what every individual, organisation, sector and government department can do to improve our chances of living healthier lives and to meet the needs of future generations.
“This conversation must be centred on adequately and sustainably funded public services, taking care and prevention to people and their communities and empowering and enabling people to take charge of their own health and wider wellbeing. It must be based on an ambitious and honest partnership between the government, all sectors and the public."