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Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services

First published:
16 October 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

NHS Health Boards and Trusts, as a requirement of the National Health Service Finance Act (Wales) 2014, produce Integrated Medium Term Plans (IMTPs) annually.

The development of the NHS Planning Framework for 2019-22 provides direction on the production of clear and deliverable IMTPs. This year, it is imperative that we build on the progress made in previous years and ensure further growth in the maturity of the integrated planning system in Wales. Following publication of A Healthier Wales: our plan for health and social care, there is a requirement for a stronger emphasis on the role of the Regional Partnership Boards and the development of new seamless models of health and social care.

The ability of NHS organisations to plan over the short, medium and long term has improved incrementally since the introduction of the National Health Service Finance Act (Wales) 2014 six years ago. However, there remains variation in the quality and effectiveness of plans and this is reflected in the levels of escalation for a number of organisations. This year, I expect to see that gap reduced.  It is a statutory duty for health boards and trusts to provide a balanced three-year plan and I am committed to supporting all organisations to deliver their duty under the Act.

The national strategy, Prosperity for All, and A Healthier Wales highlight the importance of population health organisations focused on prevention, reducing health inequalities and working with stakeholders to address population needs. I will be keen to see how organisations plan to make further inroads to achieve a truly integrated whole system approach, where the citizen is at the heart of planning.

Finally, in response to the streamlining aspirations set out within A Healthier Wales, the 2019-22 cycle will require a single submission of plans and will focus heavily on continuous planning rather than the product. This will require thorough engagement between the Welsh Government and NHS prior to submission in January to ensure plans are developed effectively.

The ambition remains to improve the quality of planning in Wales by streamlining process and strengthening capacity and governance within NHS organisations. I am adamant that the NHS must develop plans that do justice to the populations they serve.

The Planning Framework requirements include:

• Progressing the future vision that A Healthier Wales has set out. Organisations will be required to demonstrate how the Quadruple Aim is underpinning their plans, and evidence how they will work evermore collaboratively in line with the health and social care pursuit of a operating within a sustainable, whole system approach;

• Further embedding of the Well-Being of Future Generations Act (2015), including the adoption of the sustainable development principles and active contribution towards the well-being goals;

• Delivering exceptional Quality and Safety – the constant driving of improvement in safety, outcomes, efficiency and service user satisfaction;

• Utilising prudent and value based healthcare - healthcare that fits the needs and circumstances of patients;

• Ensuring timely access to care; including primary care, cancer, stroke, unscheduled  and  planned care;

• Focussing on mental health and ensuring parity with physical health and care services;

• Strengthening partnership working - promoting prosperous partnerships to ensure future sustainability, regionally, sub regionally and across public sector and other boundaries.

The framework is available on the Welsh Government’s website at: