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Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
9 May 2023
Last updated:

Members will be aware we have recently consulted on new NHS service change guidance.

The original guidance was more than 10 years old. It has been updated following the establishment Llais, the new Citizen Voice Body for health and social care, which replaced the network of community health councils from April 2023.

The new guidance has been developed following engagement with a range of stakeholders, including the former Board of Community Health Councils, representatives of Llais and the NHS. It highlighted that much of the previous guidance remained appropriate and has therefore been replicated in this new document.

While this service change guidance is an NHS-facing document about NHS-delivered and commissioned patient-facing services, the principles outlined should be helpful in guiding any change. It aims to give NHS organisations guidance and prompts on issues to consider as they approach changes to services.

In developing proposals, NHS organisations must consider the Duty of Quality, taking time to evidence how any service change proposals impact on the overall improvement in health services and contribute towards better health outcomes for people.

The NHS has evolved continually since its inception on 5 July 1948. The way in which people are cared for today would have been unimaginable when Aneurin Bevan established the health service. Thanks to advances in technology, medicines and clinical practice, the NHS is caring for, and treating, people who would have otherwise died many years ago.

The NHS is constantly evolving to meet the latest clinical guidelines, feedback from patients and staff and the growing expectations of the public. It is therefore essential that service change is done well, and it is important that people using NHS services have a say in the way they develop.

The document is available on the Welsh Government website: Guidance on changes to health services

It is expected that the guidance will be reviewed after being in place for a year.