Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
3 April 2019
Last updated:

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I promised the Senedd on 30 January 2019 that I would update Members before Easter recess on our response to the independent report: “Future Structure and Governance for Health Informatics in Wales” independent report.

The NHS Wales Chief Executive established a task and finish group to consider the key recommendations made within the report, specifically:

  • Establishing a chief digital officer for health to strengthen national digital leadership;
  • Creating a new standards authority and mandating informatics standards;
  • Establishing a new digital development team to support innovation and to accelerate the pace of delivery, with priorities set nationally; &
  • To bring together the current dispersed regional and national informatics services in a shared service arrangement for data infrastructure and delivery.

This group, comprising representatives from all NHS Wales stakeholder organisations, has met three times.

Over the coming weeks I also expect to receive a report of the “NHS Digital Architecture Review Wales”. It is clear that any proposed change to governance arrangements needs to be considered in the light of the recommendations from that review.

I have asked officials to provide me with a view of both sets of recommendations including identifying where recommendations align with each other or with the commitments we have made in A Healthier Wales: our Plan for Health and Social Care. This work will inform our priorities and the allocation of the £25m Capital and £25m Revenue funding that we have committed to support the delivery of the National Informatics Plan for 2019/2020

In A Healthier Wales, digital is recognised as a key enabler of the transformational change required to deliver our ambitious agenda. It is essential that the structure and governance of health informatics in Wales is fit for purpose to support that transformation.

Arrangements for the future must build on existing achievements, for example in delivering a single view of patients records across Wales, and the partnerships already in place with universities and other partners.