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A Healthier Wales: Welsh Government's plan for Health and Social Care

BASW Cymru welcomes the publishing of Welsh Government’s much awaited report: ‘A Healthier Wales: our plan for Health and Social Care’ which is published in response to the recent Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care. The Parliamentary review was clear in its conclusion that health and social care in Wales needs revolution and not evolution. In the light of this, it was disappointing that the Parliamentary review focused on how to achieve better outcomes without including the level and sources of funding that will be needed to pay for health and social care into the future. The citizens of Wales, the NHS, Local Authorities and social care have endured 8 years of austerity. Local authorities have cut back to the bone and led on innovation, but without increased funding and equity of influence/leadership with health, full integration and the ‘revolution from within’ will not happen.

The new plan sets out Welsh Governments long-term vision for achieving a ‘whole system approach to health and social care’ which echoes the ‘Quadruple Aim’ in the Parliamentary Review:

  1. improve population health and wellbeing through a focus on prevention;
  2. improve the experience and quality of care for individuals and families;
  3. enrich the wellbeing, capability and engagement of the health and social care workforce; and
  4. increase the value achieved from funding of health and care through improvement, innovation, use of best practice, and eliminating waste.

We are relieved that Welsh Government announced that it will provide targeted funding and resources to ensure progress, including a dedicated £100m Transformation Fund. More detail will be needed on what this targeted funding will look like, including which areas will be targeted. The plan also talks about building on local innovation and the work Primary Care Clusters. This is a cause of some concern, because social work roles and influence in the Clusters, have been conspicuous by their absence. Something that BASW Cymru has been raising.

There is to be a new national executive function to speed up decision making and responsiveness to national priorities regional and local levels, which will include a shared planning approach at national, regional and local levels. Welsh Government must ensure the citizens in Wales are at the heart of influencing and informing the transformation if a ‘revolution from within’ is to be realised.

Allison Hulmes

Professional Officer

BASW Cymru