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Written Statement - Making Prudent Healthcare Happen

Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services

Over the past eight months a sustained discussion has taken place in Wales about prudent healthcare and the potential benefit for the Welsh NHS and its patients. That conversation has been enthusiastically embraced by people working within the health service and other public services in Wales and many examples of prudent healthcare in practice have come to the fore.

In July, the next steps to advance prudent healthcare and ensure Wales remains at the vanguard of this emerging global movement were set out. This included the development of an interactive website to capture some of the perspectives of those working in or using health and social care services about what prudent healthcare means to them and its potential for Wales. I am very pleased to be able to launch Making Prudent Healthcare Happen at the Public Health Conference today.  

Prudent healthcare will not happen by the Welsh Government acting alone. For the NHS to embrace prudent healthcare and for people across Wales to realise its benefits, leaders, managers, clinicians and the public need to think about what the principles mean for them and their interactions with health services and to act accordingly.  

The various chapters hosted on the website are designed to stimulate debate - helped by the inclusion of an online comments box, which allows readers to offer their own views.

In an opening chapter to the website, I set out how the principles of prudent healthcare offer us an opportunity to create services, which address inequality and provide a social benefit today and for generations to come. If we get it right, prudent healthcare offers us a means of sustaining Aneurin Bevan’s founding principles of the National Health Service into the future.  

But prudent healthcare has to be more than an idea and more than a set of principles. It has to change the way health services are used and provided. It has to make a real, practical difference to the millions of encounters which take place every year between the Welsh people and their health service.

The examples being published online today demonstrate how prudent healthcare is already happening in the work of the renal services team at Morriston Hospital, in Swansea, which put the co-production principle at the heart of their service redesign and has improved service quality and in the improvement of lymphoedema services across Wales, which embodies the principles of prudent healthcare and is leading the way in Europe.

The launch of Making Prudent Healthcare Happen will help ensure Wales remains at the forefront of this global movement and we move from talking about the principles to taking action to secure their implementation in health and social care. The website address iswww.prudenthealthcare.org.uk. It will be updated between now and January to provide further perspectives and examples.

Initial content

The website provides views from:

  • An NHS for future generations – why we are making prudent healthcare happen by Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
  • International examples of successful prudent healthcare by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, chair of the Bevan Commission  
  • Better health for all our children - prudent healthcare for future generations by Dr Shantini Paranjothy, clinical senior lecturer, Cardiff University
  • Co-producing prudent healthcare: putting people in the picture by Ruth Dineen, Co-production Wales
  • Information technology – an essential tool in delivering prudent healthcare by Professor Ronan Lyons, clinical professor of public health, Swansea University
  • Innovation – the driving force for prudent healthcare by Chris Martin, former chair Hywel Dda University Health Board and Ifan Evans, deputy director for innovation and technology, Welsh Government  
  • The leadership challenge of prudent healthcare by Allison Williams, chief executive of Cwm Taf University Health Board (on behalf of NHS Wales health board and trust chief executives)
  • Turning every day medical decisions into prudent practice by Dr Graham Shortland, medical director, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board  
  • Introducing prudent principles in precision medicine by Dr Berwyn Clarke, Pandion Biotech Consulting Ltd
  • Better health outcomes and safer care through prudent prescribing by Professor Phil Routledge, professor of clinical pharmacology, Cardiff University
  • Focusing primary care services on people by applying prudent healthcare by Dr Sally Lewis, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • The public health challenge of prudent healthcare by Patricia Riordan, director of health and healthcare improvement, Public Health Wales
  • Establishing prudent principles across the public sector by Paul Matthews, chief executive, Monmouthshire County Council
  • Unleashing the power of prudent healthcare through reablement, recovery and rehabilitation by Ruth Crowder, policy officer for Wales, College of Occupational Therapists
  • Delivering excellence across the health and social care system through prudent healthcare by Sue Evans, chief officer, social care and housing, Torfaen County Borough Council.

The website also includes practical case studies to support the individual contributions, including:

  • Delivering a prudent lymphoedema service
  • Renal services at night
  • Transforming adult social care
  • Virtual cardiology clinic

I hope you will find an opportunity to visit the website and contribute to shaping this agenda for Wales.