The 2016 Challenge: a vision for NHS Wales

This briefing outlines the five main challenges for the Welsh health service and what needs to happen to address them.

22 October 2015

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The five challenges are:

  • The need challenge: Meeting the rising demand for care, particularly from people with complex needs or long-term conditions.
  • The workforce challenge: Planning for a sustainable and resilient workforce to better match changing demand.
  • The financial challenge: Recognising the financial pressures on all parts of the system and getting value from every penny of public money spent on healthcare. The rise in demand, coupled with constrained financial resources, has made delivering healthcare in the current model increasingly difficult.
  • The integration challenge: Focusing on partnership and collaborative working across all public bodies.  The NHS will not be able to rise to the challenges it faces without the help of our colleagues in other sectors, including housing, education and, in particular, those in social services.
  • The public health challenge: Investing in prevention and early intervention to support and maintain people’s well-being and prevent ill health for as long as possible.

The document calls for all Political Parties’ manifestos to:

  • Commit to publishing a 10 year vision for the future of the health service in Wales;
  • Commit to the transformational change required within the health service by putting in place a transition fund to enable investment in service change. This will facilitate the shifting of services closer to people’s homes and into their communities, with care provided in hospitals only when it is absolutely necessary to do so;
  • Provide and support the implementation of a long-term vision for the health and social care workforce, acknowledging that the workforce should change to deliver integrated, personalised care closer to home;
  • Have a long-term commitment to provide sufficient resources to the NHS in Wales, including confirming what proportion of the Budget will be allocated to the health and social services department in the next Assembly;
  • Support the overhaul of NHS performance targets, focusing more on outcomes rather than processes;
  • Commit to driving forward effective integration through a joint outcomes framework, with indicators that align across health and social care. This should include a commitment to coterminosity between health board and local government boundaries;
  • Commit to improving public health through further development and implementation of policies that will create the right conditions to support people to make healthier lifestyle choices; and
  • Implement a ‘health in all policies’ approach, with public bodies being required to conduct health impact assessments on future policies.