The Bevan Commission, Wales’ leading think tank for health and care, has provided the following response to A Healthier Wales: Our Plan for Health and Social Care.
Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, Chair, Bevan Commission, said: “The 70th year of the NHS represents a timely moment to reflect on progress made to date but also the profound challenges and opportunities facing the future of health and care in Wales. The Bevan Commission, as Wales’ premier think tank for health and care, is encouraged to see the Welsh Government putting the philosophy of prudent healthcare – a model which we have developed and championed - at the heart of its long-term plan.
I was honoured to be a member of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales, and it is heartening that many of our recommendations for a ‘one system’ model have been reflected in the Welsh Government’s long-term plan. Promoting a holistic approach has been a consistent theme throughout the work of the Bevan Commission and we are delighted this advice has been implemented in this strategy.
In particular, we would welcome a stronger National Executive for NHS Wales and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with partners in the health and care system and beyond on solutions that apply to us all and can bring about real transformational change.
The Parliamentary Review drew upon the work of the Bevan Commission along with wider evidence and called for revolutionary changes to the health and care system to implement holistic care close to home and enable individuals and communities to take control of their own health and well-being. Wales needs radical solutions to create a health and care system that is fit for the future, not incremental improvement, and the Bevan Commission will continue to provide innovative thinking to inform the strategy of Welsh Government.”
Helen Howson, Director, Bevan Commission, said: “We believe that good health and care is everyone’s responsibility and not just the NHS - we must engage the public, communities, employers, local authorities and more in working together to improve health and wellbeing. This belief is clearly reflected in the Welsh Government’s call for seamless working across services and communities, and we must now all step forward to take up this challenge.
However, as we know, tomorrow’s NHS will face even more complex and unseen demands in terms of its ways of working, workforce and health inequality. To truly ensure a sustainable future, the long-term plan needs to do more to address how members of the public can make the best to improve their own health and care, as well as those around them, and in informing service design based on these needs.
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating – translating this thinking into action – and the Bevan Commission and its Academy has a successful track record in developing new models and ways of working. Our experience tells us that new ways of thinking, strong collective leadership and empowering people to change will be core to the success of such transformational change: doing things with people not to them, whether patients or professionals.
We look forward to hearing further details on the plan’s implementation and to working in partnership with others to drive this transformative process, using all skills within and outside the health service to best effect.”