Welsh NHS Confederation responds to Health Inspectorate Wales Annual Report

Welsh NHS Confederation director Darren Hughes responds to Health Inspectorate Wales' Annual Report.

6 December 2023

Responding to findings in Health Inspectorate Wales’ embargoed Annual Report, director of the Welsh NHS Confederation Darren Hughes said: 

“We welcome Health Inspectorate Wales’ (HIW) Annual Report and the recognition that staff are implementing a range of initiatives to support services to cope with increasing, unrelenting demand. Unfortunately, this is not enough to mitigate the impact of the huge challenges, but evaluating what hasn’t worked is as valuable as learning from what has. 

“It’s universally acknowledged that staff are the NHS’s number one asset. They don’t just care for patients, they also innovate and implement service change to improve outcomes for patients. Therefore, recruiting and retaining existing staff, including doing what they can to support staff wellbeing, is a priority for NHS leaders. 

“So often the media and politicians focus on the challenges in secondary care, especially urgent and emergency care but also hospital waiting lists, but HIW’s report rightly indicates we can’t ignore the challenges facing primary care (for example access to GPs, dentists and mental health services). All services make up the health and care system, so overstretched urgent and emergency care services impact demand on primary care and vice versa. 

“We need health and social care regulatory bodies to work together to inspect and advise on necessary improvements in patient flow, due to the interdependent nature of health and social care services. These challenges cannot be looked at in isolation.”