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Prudent healthcare

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Healthcare that fits the needs and circumstances of patients and avoids wasteful care.

The NHS in Wales is facing the twin challenges of rising costs and increasing demand, while continuing to improve the quality of care.

Informed by the work of the Bevan Commission and others around the world, the NHS in Wales is taking on the principles of prudent healthcare as it responds to these challenges.  Prudent healthcare puts NHS Wales at the front of a growing international effort to get greater value from healthcare systems for patients.  

Principles of prudent healthcare

Any service or individual providing a service should:

  • achieve health and wellbeing with the public, patients and professionals as equal partners through co-production
  • care for those with the greatest health need first, making the most effective use of all skills and resources
  • do only what is needed, no more, no less; and do no harm
  • reduce inappropriate variation using evidence based practices consistently and transparently.

Patient contribution

Prudent healthcare aims to create a patient-centred system. An NHS based on prudent healthcare principles ensures patients receive the most appropriate agreed treatments. This will reflect the contribution individuals can make to their own health and wellbeing.

Making prudent healthcare happen

The ‘Making prudent healthcare happen’ (external link) resource has been designed to explain some of the key concepts behind prudent healthcare. It captures perspectives of those working in or using health and social care services in Wales about what prudent healthcare means to them and its potential for Wales.