On the 16th January 2018, the Welsh Government published the report on The Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales. The interim report published in July 2017 put the stark case that, in its current form, Wales’ health and care system needs to change. The report said that this meant that the way care and support is delivered by public, independent and third sector bodies rather than their underpinning organisational structures needed to change.
The report published in January 2018 recommended that the vision should aim to deliver against four mutually supportive goals referred to as ‘the Quadruple Aim’, each of which should be vigorously pursued. They are continually to:
- Improve population health and wellbeing through a focus on prevention
- Improve the experience and quality of care for individuals and families
- Enrich the wellbeing, capability and engagement of the health and social care workforce; and
- Increase the value achieved from funding of health and care through improvement, innovation, use of best practice, and eliminating waste.
The report goes on to make 10 recommendations, these are:-
- Recommendation 1: One Seamless System for Wales
- Recommendation 2: The Quadruple Aim for All
- Recommendation 3: Bold New Models of Seamless Care – national principles local delivery
- Recommendation 4: Put the People in Control
- Recommendation 5: A Great Place to Work
- Recommendation 6: A Health & Care System that’s always learning
- Recommendation 7: Harness Innovation, and Accelerate Technology and Infrastructure Developments
- Recommendation 8: Align System Design to achieve results
- Recommendation 9: Capacity to Transform, Dynamic Leadership, Unprecedented Cooperation
- Recommendation 10: Accountability, Progress & Pace
All of these recommendations have implications for the social care sector in Wales. The sector is currently experiencing a period of change with the re-registration process commencing in February 2018 and care providers should review the report to see how the recommendations will affect their service provision. The report can be accessed from http://gov.wales/docs/dhss/publications/180116reviewen.pdf
One thing that stands out from the report is in Recommendation 1 with the aim that care and support should be seamless, without artificial barriers between physical and mental health, primary and secondary care, or health and social care. For years the health and social care sector has come up against the challenge of budgetary restraints and ring-fencing getting in the way of meeting people’s needs. Let us hope that this report brings change that allows people to receive care and support which meets their needs in the most appropriate way possible. Another item of note is contained in Recommendation 5 with a desire that those who work in the sector are well trained and that their wellbeing is protected. This is recognition that the workforce is the most important resource that the health and social care sector has and that effective training and career development for a healthy workforce has multiple benefits for all of society.