Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
Finance Minister Jane Hutt announced that an additional £70m would be provided to the NHS in 2015-16 following the publication of the UK Autumn Budget statement in November 2014. This investment, together with the additional resources announced as part of the 2015-16 budget will mean NHS Wales has benefited from an extra £500m over the last two years.
These resources go further than the requirements identified in the independent Nuffield Trust report A Decade of Austerity in Wales?, which was published in June 2014. This investment demonstrates the Welsh Government’s continued commitment to the NHS in Wales.
The Nuffield report confirmed the NHS in Wales will be both affordable and sustainable in the long term as long as it receives an appropriate share of UK funding and it reforms and redesigns the way services are delivered.
It is essential we maximise the entire £6.7bn Welsh health and social care budget as we make improvements in services. However, the additional £70m provides a much-needed opportunity to develop specific projects, which will have an identifiable and measurable impact on high-demand services, which will help to reform the Welsh NHS.
The investment demonstrates that we are concentrating the majority of this additional funding - £50m – on our key ambition to shift more services from hospitals and improve access to preventative, integrated community, primary and social care in line with our primary care plan.
The £70m will be allocated as follows:
Primary care developments – consolidating and building on the existing primary care plan, this will accelerate the move to primary care, improve access and address recruitment issues by diversifying the primary care team. £30m
Taking forward the Intermediate Care Fund – funding schemes of proven effectiveness across community and acute environments, linking out-of-hospital care and social care to strengthen the resilience of the unscheduled care system. £20m
Implementing delivery plans – investing in 10 key delivery plans, including cancer, cardiac, diabetes and stroke care, to take forward service reconfiguration. £10m
Efficiency through technology fund – creating a fund to encourage organisations to take forward innovative opportunities to develop and implement new service models using the latest technologies and solutions. £10m
The Welsh Government and the NHS will work with all relevant bodies, staff and stakeholders to review the projects further to ensure all benefits and reforms are maximised.