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Written Statement - NHS Service Reconfiguration: Lessons Learned Review

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Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

When appointed as Minister for Health and Services last year, I indicated that one of my main priorities was to bring the three regional plans for service change in NHS Wales to a conclusion.  Following the recent agreement reached by the South Wales Programme, I am pleased to report that the first phase of the reconfiguration process in Wales is now complete.

As part of these developments I gave a commitment to a ‘lessons learned’ review of the reconfiguration process, once all three exercises had been completed.

In order to do so I have commissioned an external expert, Mrs Ann Lloyd, to lead the Review, and she will be supported by a small reference group with experience of major service change in the NHS.  

Mrs Lloyd is a former Director General of the Health and Social Care Department at the Welsh Government, a role which she held from 2001 until her retirement in 2009.    Since then, she has undertaken a number of high profile roles, including as Health and Social Care Appointments Commissioner for London; Trustee of the Shaw Trust; and Chair of the Caxton Foundation.  She was also a Trustee of the Patients Association until 2013, and gave many national and international presentations on the importance of the involvement of the community and service users in the design and delivery of care.

The Review will include an engagement phase with key stakeholders including relevant Health Board officials, clinical representatives, patient groups and public interest groups including Local Authorities. It will engage with the Community Health Councils across Wales to capture their experience of the Service Reconfiguration process.

The Review will provide an assessment of the effectiveness of current service change guidance, and what improvements may be necessary.  It will also assess the role of Community Health Council in the whole process and provide advice on both the part they are asked to play in the consultation and referral processes; and their ability to discharge these responsibilities effectively.

The Review will be taken forward in 4 phases:

  1. Initial scoping exercise and research into best practice;
  2. An engagement exercise capturing experience and views of key relevant stakeholders;
  3. An assessment of the evidence gathered; and
  4. The production of a report which captures key lessons learned and provides recommendations for improvements to the Welsh Government Guidance.

I anticipate that the review team will present its interim report, including findings and any recommendations, to me before the end of the summer recess.

I have enclosed a copy of the of the Review’s Terms of Reference for your information.  I will continue to keep Members updated.