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Written Statement - Review of the advisory structure for health in Wales

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

Over recent years the Welsh Government and NHS Wales have undergone substantial organisational change. Over the same time, the number of standing advisory bodies for health, to both the Government and the health service, has increased to the point where there are now many such groups. It may be that these groups  now contribute less than the sum of their parts and review, reform and re-energizing may be needed to help us deliver a 21st century healthcare system.

Health policy and service models can only be as good as the clinical input that underpins them. In Wales we are fortunate to have a strong history and commitment to collaboration and working in partnership. We need a strong, credible system for harnessing expert clinical opinion in order to drive forward service improvement. In turn, this will help us deliver better health outcomes and to develop new service models that allow us to live within our resources.

Today I launch a three month call for evidence in order to review the current advisory structure and help determine what reforms maybe necessary to ensure the NHS in Wales benefits from the most efficient, effective and authoritative clinical advice. We must also ensure it identifies nurtures and utilises the best clinical leaders that NHS Wales has to offer.

The review will include the statutory advisory committees to the Welsh Government such as the Welsh Medical Committee, the National Specialist Advisory Groups, Local Health Professional Forums, and the local groups such as the Local Dental Committees. Chief Executives in NHS Wales will be working with their Heads of Profession, such as Medical Directors, Nursing Directors and Directors of Therapies and Health Science, to undertake a separate review of the operationally focused Clinical Networks in Wales, but there will be cross-overs in learning for both reviews.

I anticipate that the call for evidence will be complete by April. I encourage all stakeholders, particularly the recipients of clinical advice, to engage in the process and shape our proposals. Further information is available at www.wales.gov.uk/cmo