Increasing demand for care in Wales could overwhelm providers
unless services are modernised, a new report has warned,
writes Alex Dobson.
The report by Derek Wanless is a comprehensive review of health
and social care in Wales, and has some blunt messages for the Welsh
assembly, which commissioned the report.
Among the conclusions are that that health and social care
organisations will need to improve performance and modernise
services to justify increases in resources.
The report also said health and social services need to be
brought closer together, and that where and how care is provided in
the future, will need to change.
“Policies must be more evidence based, backed by a robust
financial strategy with greater freedom for success and stronger
sanctions. Changes should be supported by more sophisticated
workforce planning, improved technology and investment in the
estate,” it said.
“Roles need to be clarified and accountabilities strengthened
with enhanced incentives, improved information and better
performance management,” said the report.
In a statement to the Welsh assembly, Jane Hutt, minister for
health and social services, acknowledged the review”s main
“There is no denying the review provides some hard
messages for the future delivery of the service. As resources
increase, so financial disciplines have to be tightened.
“Deficits have to be squeezed out of the system. There must be
an emphasis on rewarding success with greater freedom to act.
Where under performance persists, then delegation of responsibility
will have to be narrowed until there is clear proven capacity to
take it on again. Local government must also play its part in
modernising services,” she said.
Hutt said that now was not the time for a detailed response to
the report, but she announced an additional £4 million to
tackle the immediate priorities in the review, and she said that
that the money would be channelled through the 22 new local health