28th June 2017

New laws to improve NHS Wales and social care working

Proposals for new laws to improve the way the NHS and social care services are run and work together in Wales have been published by the Welsh Government.

Plans include a “duty of quality” for health boards and replacing community health councils with stronger bodies for patient voices.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said it would “ensure our health and social care services are fit for the future”.

A consultation will now run for the next three months.

The plans in a White Paper were published jointly by Mr Gething and social services minister Rebecca Evans.

They also include:

  • Plans to introduce new duties on health boards to work together
  • A new statutory “duty of candour” on all health and social care workers and organisations to be open and transparent and to be upfront when things go wrong
  • New joint complaints processes between health and social care
    A new process to make decisions about big changes in the way front-line services are delivered
  • It follows criticism by an influential international body – the OECD – which claimed health boards and social care services in Wales were not working well enough together.

The OECD also wanted a better system of inspection and regulation within the NHS and social care in Wales.

Mr Gething said he believed the proposals would “make a real difference” by putting people at the centre of how health and care services are delivered.

“It will also enable health and social care organisations to work together and across boundaries to ensure they deliver the very best care for people across Wales,” he added.