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Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
19 August 2019
Last updated:

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

I am pleased to confirm the work underway to develop a National Clinical Plan for specialist services in Wales, in line with the commitment set out within A Healthier Wales. A team of clinicians led by the Chief Medical Officer is researching international evidence-based solutions to deliver high quality and high value health care.

The plan will demonstrate how clinicians will be expected to base their clinical work on nationally agreed pathways, working across whole systems, considering prevention and population health as well as secondary and tertiary care. Pathways will be written and published online to help support and empower citizens and carers to self-care and self-manage their health and wellbeing. This approach will be underpinned by clinical leaders working collaboratively in multi-disciplinary networks of professionals, agencies and third sector organizations to deliver the pathways at both national and local levels. Pathways will be designed and delivered using the key principles of A Healthier Wales – prudent healthcare, value-based health care and quality Improvement, at scale and with pace and co-produced with patients at national and local levels.

The plan will make reference to practical examples to describe how these principles should be adopted by the healthcare providers in Wales and encourage them to develop innovative healthcare approaches tailored to local needs. It is expected that the health boards will produce Integrated Medium Term Plans (IMTPs) that describe service delivery proposals reflecting these themes and principles and that this will be part of the process by which the plans will be agreed with the soon to be established NHS Executive body.

Implementing of the plan will ultimately fall to the health boards and healthcare providers, including Regional Partnership Boards, HEIW, WHSSC, the NHS Wales Collaborative, primary care clusters, Public Health Wales and clinical networks, under the guidance of the NHS Executive body. Health boards and Regional Partnership Boards will plan and design services for their populations using their local knowledge and each adopting the same set of principles outlined in the plan.

Performance standards will be set nationally and will be benchmarked against other health boards or international health bodies and clinicians can be expected to be challenged in relation to unwarranted variation as a matter of normal procedure. Electronic data will be collected as the default approach, as will Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and Patient Reported Experience Measures (PREMs), supported by academic and digital research and innovation resources.

It is expected that the proposals described within the plan will be the subject of a final round of engagement with the broad range of stakeholders whose views shaped the Parliamentary Review and ultimately A Healthier Wales.

I will continue to keep members informed of progress with this important work.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep Members informed. Should Members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.