Partnership approach could be game changer for the Welsh NHS

Posted on: 14th April 2023

The British Liver Trust has joined calls for a new approach to running the NHS in Wales where patients’ lived experiences are prioritised and clinicians are empowered to improve care.

Along with royal colleges, other national charities and patient groups, the Trust has endorsed Driving change together a paper by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) which wants the Welsh Government to ensure patients and health professionals sit alongside managers and make decisions together.

The paper follows the launch of the new Wales NHS executive on April 1st to provide a 'stronger central guiding hand' for the health service there. As well as an opportunity to create a collaborative approach to running the NHS, new strategic clinical networks will help oversee how health boards meet the national quality statements for major health conditions, including liver disease, cancer, critical care and end-of-life care.

The RCP paper says the Wales NHS Executive should:

  1. Share leadership responsibilities – ensure new national networks are led by clinicians working with patient representatives.
  2. Give everyone a voice – develop standardised co-production guidance on third sector and patient involvement in running the NHS.
  3. Ensure no health condition is left behind – implement consistent governance arrangements and comprehensive programme support across all networks.
  4. Recognise that knowledge is power – publish service specifications and local treatment pathways online in a central hub, making the patient journey easier to understand.
  5. Learn from Senedd committees – publish work plans and meeting papers online in an accessible, open and transparent way.