Prudent Healthcare

Prudent Healthcare is the concept which underpins the work undertaken by the Bevan Commission and its members. 

Prudent principle 1

Achieve health and wellbeing with the public, patients and professionals as equal partners through co-production.

Prudent principle 2

Care for those with the greatest health need first, making most effective use of all skills and resources.

Prudent principle 3

Do only what is needed – no more, no less – and do no harm.

Prudent principle 4

Reduce inappropriate variation using evidence-based practices consistently and transparently.

The origins of the concept

In December 2013, the Commission introduced the concept of Prudent Healthcare with the publication of Simply Prudent Healthcare, which included a set of provisional principles that underpins the concept’s aims and objectives. This landmark publication was followed by Prudent health: one year on, a qualitative assessment of the concept's effectiveness in policy and practice to date.

Throughout 2014, the Commission reached out and encouraged a wide-ranging conversation on what Prudent Healthcare should be. Following a series of workshops, debates and the launch of a dedicated website, the Commission launched the finalised Prudent Principles in January 2015. These were endorsed by the Minister for Health and Social Services at the Welsh NHS Confederation Conference. A copy of the Minister's speech is available here.

At the heart of policy

Prudent healthcare is at the heart of A Healthier Wales, Welsh Government's long-term plan for health and care, and informs much of today's health and care policy and discussion in Wales. The Bevan Commission's Exploiting the Welsh Health Legacy series explores the concept in detail and how it can inspire A New Way of ThinkingA New Way of Planning and  A New Way of Doing.

Translating it into action

Prudent healthcare is also being applied in action by the Bevan Exemplars and Bevan Advocates. Bevan Exemplars are health and care professionals who trial and test out their innovative ideas to deliver prudent healthcare on the front line of the NHS. Bevan Advocates are members of the public who share their experiences, develop person-centred solutions and inspire others to make different health and care choices to support prudent healthcare.

In 2019, the Bevan Commission is working with the Welsh Medical Committee to develop a Prudent Inquiry  to assess how effectively the prudent healthcare principles are being translated into action by Health Boards and Trusts across Wales.