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Calls for major overhaul of the Welsh NHS


More than 20 different health organisations have joined forces to call for a complete overhaul of the National Health Service in Wales.

It comes after the worst ever performance figures for hospital emergency departments and the ambulance service were published, as well as warnings from doctors across the country that patients are dying in ambulances and waiting rooms due to overcrowding.

The group of 22 organisations working across health and social care say Wales needs a single national body with a strategic oversight of the Welsh NHS in order to drive improvements in patient care and hold health boards to account.

They have launched the 'Ending the postcode lottery' campaign which calls for "an end to fragmented health services".

Those involved include the the Royal College of Physicians Wales, the British Heart Foundation, Parkinson's UK and Cancer Research UK. They claim that a single, independent national NHS Wales executive would be better placed to improve patient care and deliver on the aims of a healthier Wales.

The organisations are calling for an independent body with the right powers would have the authority to:

  • Support system transformation across health board boundaries
  • Play a national leadership role in service improvement
  • Collect and analyse data to improve performance
  • Improve patient outcomes across clinical specialties, public health and inequalities
  • Provide strong governance and accountability to ensure that the NHS in Wales gets the best value from its combined resources.

Dr Abrie Theron, chair of Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Wales, said: "I cannot see how the Welsh NHS is going to implement the changes needed for a Covid recovery without a NHS Executive team facilitating health boards working together as one for the patients of Wales."

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Source: The National, 22 November 2021

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