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First Minister of Wales hails the Bevan Commission as an “independent source of fresh thinking” at landmark conference

9th Jul 2018

Keynote speakers First Minister of Wales and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services reflected on 70 year anniversary of the NHS

The Bevan Commission International Conference 2018, held on 3 & 4 July at the Celtic Manor Resort, has been described as a “world class event” by delegates. Attended by over 500 health and care professionals, policy makers, academics, community members and more, the event was a focal point for discussion in a week of NHS 70 celebrations taking place across Wales.

Delegates heard from a range of prestigious speakers, including Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, First Minister of Wales, Vaughan Gething AM, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, Professor Sir Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund, Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair of the Bevan Commission and Life Sciences Hub Wales, and Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute for Health Equity.

The event also featured breakout sessions on themes such as developing a healthy workforce, measuring impact and innovation and connecting patients and communities. Meanwhile, a panel debate on devolved NHS systems made the headlines with BBC Wales.

First Minister of Wales and Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services reflect on major anniversary and look to the future

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething AM, spoke on the first day of the conference and echoed the call of the Bevan Commission to make good health and care everyone’s responsibility, recognising the importance of the contribution of the wider public and voluntary workforce. Following the recent announcement of extra funding for the NHS from UK Government, which may mean a £1.2 billion boost for Wales, the Cabinet Secretary confirmed that any additional resource would need to be invested in alignment with the long-term plan for health and social services, not just in the NHS.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services said in his speech: “We should celebrate the social and cooperative traditions in Wales... The NHS is an amazing achievement.”

The First Minister of Wales, Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM, addressed delegates on the second day of the conference and stressed the importance of prevention in order to keep a nation healthy. He also called for people in Wales to make the most of its fantastic environment and quality of life to support better health and well-being.

The First Minister of Wales said in his speech: “We need organisations to act as critical friends to the government... the Bevan Commission is an independent source of fresh thinking.”

Live poll finds overwhelming support for Welsh NHS

Delegates took part in a live poll, powered by Doopoll, throughout the two days of the conference, which found that 91% of those attending were proud of the Welsh NHS. The audience at the event was also asked whether Wales should look for inspiration and new ideas within Wales, the UK or internationally – with 69% opting to look for best practice globally.

Meanwhile 66% of surveyed delegates thought that NHS targets should be removed to allow health professionals to deliver prudent health and care. A provocative question on whether local government was the true National Health Service – while the NHS is the National Illness Service – split the audience, with 45% disagreeing, 43% in agreement and 12% unsure.

Latest thinking on workforce challenges and prudent healthcare unveiled

The social, prudent model for health – which is at the heart of the Welsh Government’s long-term plan for health and social services – was promoted by leaders throughout the Welsh NHS at the conference, and implemented into action through the Bevan Commission’s latest paper, Exploiting the Welsh Health Legacy: A New Way of Doing.

The Bevan Commission also discussed the challenges and opportunities for the health and care workforce through its recent paper, A Workforce Fit for Future Health and Care, which formed the basis of a lively panel debate at the event.

People of Wales called to develop the Bevan Commission People's Health Charter

Alongside Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner, the Bevan Commission called for the people of Wales to help to develop a Bevan Commission People’s Health Charter, reflecting its belief that good health and care is everyone’s responsibility – not just the NHS. Find out how you can help to shape the Bevan Commission People's Health Charter over the next 12 months

Find out more

Find out more about the Bevan Commission International Conference 2018 by visiting @BevanCommission on Twitter, exploring the #Bevan18 hashtag or viewing images at the Flickr Gallery.

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