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A Healthier Wales

24 October 2019

Audience prepared for event
A full house in the Executive Education Suite for Breakfast Briefing on healthcare planning.

The vision for A Healthier Wales was the focus of the Breakfast Briefing, held on Thursday 24 October 2019, in front of a packed Executive Education Suite at Cardiff Business School.

Simon Dean, Deputy Chief Executive for NHS Wales, got proceedings underway by giving some context to his presentation on the Welsh Government’s new plan for health and social care provision in Wales.

He explained that the NHS was deep-rooted in Welsh society and culture having been inspired by Aneurin Bevan over 70 years ago. But he also stressed how the service must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the people of Wales.

Man presents from lectern at event.
Simon Dean outlines Wales' planned approach to health and social care provision.

“What we’re really keen to do in the Welsh system, is to make quality and patient experience the focus of the conversation, not money and contracting.”

Simon Dean Deputy Chief Executive for NHS Wales

Shaping the future

Wales has been keen to shift away from a commissioning or market approach adopted elsewhere in the United Kingdom, prioritising people, needs, quality and outcomes in the way that it is seeking to deliver change.

Prompted by a Welsh Government commissioned ‘Parliamentary Review’, which recommended action to improve health and wellbeing reduce health inequalities for people across Wales, the Welsh Government published its response: A Healthier Wales: Our plan for health and social care in June 2018.

The document outlines a way forward for NHS and social care services to work to develop and support seamless services in Wales across 6 pillars:

  • Longer, healthier and happier lives
  • A single health and social care system
  • Equal health outcomes for all
  • Delivering care closer to home
  • Hospitals used only when needed
  • Technological opportunities.

But Mr Dean stressed: “Planning is not about writing documents; it's about shaping the future.”

He brought his presentation to a close by outlining the importance of partnership-building between the NHS and Welsh communities, organisations and other interested parties in the months and years to come.

A unique suite of legislation

Samia Saeed-Edmonds, NHS Planning Programme Director in Welsh Government, picked up where Mr Dean left off by directing the focus of the briefing onto the planning and implementation of A Healthier Wales.

Her presentation contextualised planning in Wales’ public sector service since devolution in 1999.

“Wales has set out its own path particularly within an integrated planning environment by developing a unique suite of legislation, all of which focuses on the citizen, on people and on the communities in which they live.”

Samia Saeed-Edmonds NHS Planning Programme Director in Welsh Government

Among these are the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, the Social Services and Wellbeing Act and the Public Health Wales Act. Within this context organisations have a statutory duty to implement integrated medium-term plans which can deliver outcomes, quality, improvement and transformation.

Woman presenting at podium
Samia Saeed-Edmonds narrows in on the role of an NHS planner in her breakfast briefing presentation.

Mrs Saeed-Edmonds’ presentation covered the practicalities of NHS Wales-specific integrated planning and shared the findings from the National Integrated Medium-Term Plan 2019-2022 for NHS Wales, focusing on how it delivers on ministerial priorities.

Looking to the future and the implementation of A Healthier Wales in collaboration with business, academia and the third sector, Samia Saeed-Edmonds concluded her presentation, observing that: “Planning is more than a plan. It requires relationships and trust, tools and techniques, structure and process - at all levels.

“Because, it’s about the journey as well as the destination.”

The briefing followed the launch of a new postgraduate diploma in healthcare planning in October 2019.

The diploma will see healthcare professionals tasked with planning the future direction of the NHS in Wales receive academic training at Cardiff University.

The Executive Education Breakfast Briefing Series is a network that enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

If you were unable to attend, catch up with this live stream of the event.

The next briefing, What’s so special about South Wales?, took place on 17 December 2019, and saw Ken Poole from Cardiff Council together with Heather Meyers from South Wales Chamber of Commerce and Clare Taylor from Bruton Knowles, consider why businesses should invest and grow in the South Wales region.

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