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Eluned Morgan, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care

First published:
2 April 2024
Last updated:

A Healthier Wales: our plan for health and social care, made a commitment to review the national commissioning functions with the aim of strengthening national activity and clarifying governance and accountability. 

An independent review of national commissioning functions was undertaken and concluded in May 2023. The review included those functions that were discharged by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC), the Emergency Ambulance Services Committee (EASC) and the National Collaborative Commissioning Unit (NCCU) on behalf of local health boards and explored opportunities and lessons learnt to identify and deliver further improvements in commissioning.  The final report put forward a suite of recommendations covering overall improvements to the way the Joint Committee arrangements would work as well as recommendations specifically related to the Joint Committee itself. 

The recommendations included the establishment of a new single Joint Committee which would streamline and simplify existing arrangements for commissioning along with a new name, highlighting it was not a merger of existing Joint Committees and their teams. 

In addition to building on the work of the previous EASC, WHSSC and NCCU, the new Joint Committee will also be responsible for commissioning 111 services and Sexual Assault Referral Centres.  It will help build national commissioning capacity across the health system in Wales at a time when we are seeing increasing demand and challenges in how we ensure services are sustainable and equitable in the future.            

An implementation programme was initiated, working at pace to ensure the necessary legislation, governance, appointments, staff engagement and consultation and change programme were in place for the establishment of the new Joint Committee by 1 April 2024. I am grateful to all those who have been involved in the implementation programme.

Following a public appointments recruitment process, I am pleased to announce Ian Green as the Chair of the new NHS Wales Joint Commissioning Committee (JCC) who will be supported by Dr Paul Worthington, Nia Roberts and Susan Elsmore as independent Lay Members of the JCC. 

Ian brings over 25 years’ experience of high profile leadership roles in the voluntary, health, local government, housing and social care sectors in executive and non-executive roles. 

Paul’s career has included 25 years working in the NHS in senior management, commissioning and planning roles whilst Susan has broad experience across the private, public and third sectors and recently served two terms as a Health Board Independent Member. Nia has a legal background and is a fluent Welsh speaker with a career in the public sector spanning over 20 years.  Together, they bring diverse skills, knowledge and experience to the JCC. 

Abigail Harris has been appointed as the Interim Chief Commissioner for the JCC and, working closely with Ian, will lead the Joint Commissioning Committee Team through the next phase of establishment. 

Abi is currently the Executive Director of Strategy and Planning with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and brings a wide range of experience to this new role including time spent in commissioning organisations, local government, national policy and specialist services provision.  

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 Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.