Welsh review may dwarf Gershon’s

A review of public services in Wales is likely to have major implications for the organisation and delivery of health and social services, a senior government source claims.

The Welsh assembly official, who wished to remain anonymous, said the review could be more sweeping than Sir Peter Gershon’s review in England, which recommended that billions of pounds of savings could be made in local government.

Trade unions in Wales have already raised concerns about the review, which is headed by Local Government Association vice-chair Sir Jeremy Beecham and NHS Confederation chief executive Dame Gillian Morgan.

The review is looking at how all public services are delivered locally and identifying opportunities for collaborative working. It will present its findings next summer.

The official said the review’s focus was likely to be primarily on the country’s local authorities and health boards.

He said: “About 40 per cent of public sector spend in Wales is in health and social care.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people from a local government and health background are leading the review.”

He said it was potentially bigger than Gershon because it was looking at how services were organised and delivered, not just how they were procured.

Paul Elliott, head of local government at Unison Wales, said the assembly was pushing local authorities to provide some services on a sub-regional and area basis.

He claimed that this “policy of collaboration” could be a “threat to jobs”.

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