Core Principles

core principles logo 1

Why have the Core Principles been developed?

The Principles have been developed to help and support NHS Wales staff.

NHS Wales values all its staff - from Wales, the UK, EU and non EU foreign nationals. The NHS is about the people, working with people, to care for people. It's what we do and why we work here. We are under pressure to deliver more services, with better outcomes, while maintaining and increasing quality with:

  • significant financial challenge
  • high levels of public expectation
  • a population which is getting older and with increased levels of chronic conditions

These Principles have been developed to help staff respond better to these demands. They will also help to re-balance the way we work together. So we are less reliant on process, and are guided by these Principles when applying policies and procedures.

These Principles are part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen the values and behaviours of Health Boards and Trusts. They have been developed in partnership with employers and staff representatives.

How do the Core Principles relate to my organisation's values and to the prudent healthcare principles?

Our Core Principles how we expect everyone in NHS Wales to behave. They have been developed to support our national and local work, as well as providing a guide for how we work across NHS Wales. They are about helping us all to achieve the highest quality in everything we do.

The Principles are at the core of NHS Wales and reinforce the values and behaviours within your organisation. They are rooted in the prudent healthcare concept. We, the individuals and teams operating within NHS Wales, expect to carry out our roles with dedicated commitment to the people using NHS by applying the Core Principles.

What next?

We are communicating the Principles across NHS Wales, so they become part of our everyday work lives, by:

  • marking sure national public service and local values and behaviours align;
  • supporting good governance and helping ensure the achievement of the highest possible quality in the NHS in Wales;
  • using the Principles to create a simpler and consistent approach to managing workplace employment issues. Our focus is on achieving an early solution to problems;
  • embedding the principles in the workforce policies being developed and reviewed at both a national and local level;
  • identifying ways to re-inforce the Core Principles in key workforce policies and procedures e.g. appraisal, recruitment and staff training.


We work with the public and patients / service users through co-production, doing only what is needed, no more, no less and trying to avoid harm. We are honest, open, empathetic and compassionate. We ensure quality and safety above all else by providing the best care at all times. core principles 1 
 We care for those with the greatest health need first, making the most effective use of all skills and resources and constantly seeking to fit the care and services we provide users' needs. We integrate improvement into everyday working, by being open to change in all that we do, which also reduces harm and waste.  core principles 2
We strive to improve health and remove inequities by working together with the people of Wales so as to ensure their wellbeing now and in future years and generations.  core principles 3
We invest in our learning and development. We make decisions that benefit patients and users of our services by appropriate use of the tools, systems and environments which enable us to work competently, safely and effectively. We actively innovate, adapt and reduce inappropriate variation whilst being mindful of the appropriate evidence base to guide us.  core principles 4
 We work with individuals including patients, colleagues, and other organisations; taking pride in all that we do, valuing and respecting each other, being honest and open and listening to the contribution of others. We aim to resolve disagreements effectively and promptly and we have a zero tolerance of bullying or victimisation of any patient, service user or member of staff.  core principles 5
 We support all our colleagues in doing the jobs they have agreed to do. We will regularly ask about what they need to do their work better and seek to provide the facilities they need to excel in the care they give. We will listen to our colleagues and act on their feedback and concerns.  core principles 6


You can download the posters below:

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Abertawe Bro Morgannwg
abertawe bro morgannwg university health board  abertawe bro morgannwg university health board - welsh 
Anaeurin Bevan University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Anaeurin Bevan
 anaeurin bevan university health board  anaeurin bevan university health board - welsh
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr
 betsi cadwaladr university health board  betsi cadwaladr university health board - welsh
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Caerdydd a'r Fro
 cardiff and vale university health board  cardiff and vale university health board - welsh
Cwm Taf University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf
 cwm taf university health board  cwm taf university health board - welsh
Hywel Dda University Health Board Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda
 hywel dda university health board hywel dda university health board - welsh 
 NHS Wales Informatics Service  Gwasanaeth Gwybodeg GIG Cymru
 nhs wales informatics service nhs wales informatics service - welsh 
 NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership  Partnerlaeth Cydwasanaethau GIG Cymru
 nhs wales shared services partnership nhs wales shared services partnership - welsh 
 Powys Teaching Health Board  Bwrdd Iechyd Addysgu Powys
 powys teaching health board powys teaching health board - welsh 
Public Health Wales Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru
 public health wales public health wales - welsh
 Velindre NHS Trust  Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre
 velindre nhs trust velindre nhs trust - welsh 
 Welsh Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Gwasanaeth Ambiwlans Cymru
 welsh ambulance service nhs trust  welsh ambulance service nhs trust - welsh

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