Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services
The Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020 will commence on 1 April and with it the duty of candour, the duty of quality and the new organisation Llais.
The duties of quality and candour will support the ongoing, system-wide approach to quality improvement within the NHS and further embed a culture of openness and transparency. The establishment of the new citizen voice body, which replaces community health councils, will strengthen the representation of people in services and empower people to influence and shape their local health and social care services.
The duty of quality will apply to all NHS organisations and to Welsh Ministers, for health-related functions, with the twin aims of ensuring quality-driven decisions improve the quality of health services and that focus is maintained on improving outcomes for people. It includes new health and care quality standards, replacing the health and care standards of 2015.
NHS organisations have already started to prepare for this duty, which I hope will bring about significant sharing of quality outcome data with the public, as well as helping to continuously improve services.
The duty of candour builds on our ongoing work to embed a culture of openness and transparency across NHS Wales, which in turn drives learning and improvements to services. It places an organisational duty on all NHS bodies to support people and their families when things may go wrong and importantly, ensures incidents are investigated through the Putting Things Right process and learning is shared to help prevent the issue recurring.
The new citizen voice body – Llais – is an independent national body, which will represent people across Wales in shaping health and social care services. It is a major step towards the integration of health and social care services that Llais will represent the views and experiences of people using both services, which are often so closely intertwined in people’s care. Llais will work with NHS organisations, local authorities and volunteer organisations, alongside the public to ensure people are continually heard and represented in health and social care services.
Llais replaces the community health councils (CHCs) in their role of representing the voice of patients within healthcare. I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the CHC network for their continued dedication and service to Wales over the last 50 years. The staff and members of the seven CHCs and the national board have worked tirelessly to support people using NHS services and they have also worked with the NHS to improve care.
I am very grateful for all they have done and am glad they have played such an instrumental role in creating and shaping Llais, so their important work will continue.
Collectively, the measures within the Act will help us to move forward towards the integration and sustainability aspirations set out in A Healthier Wales, putting quality and safety at the heart of everything the NHS does, driving improvements in health and social care, empowering people to contribute to the ongoing improvement of health and care and ultimately, leading to better outcomes for all.
Links to the Duty of Quality Guidance can be found here The Duty of Quality in healthcare | GOV.WALES
Links to the Duty of Candour Regulations, consequential amendments to the National Health Service (Concerns, Complaints and Redress Arrangements) Regulations and guidance can be found here The NHS Duty of Candour | GOV.WALES
Links to the Citizen Voice Body Regulations can be found here