- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Uncategorized
Mike Hedges AM welcomes new legislation introduced to provide further quality in Welsh health and social care
A new Bill which aims to improve quality and public engagement in health and social care will officially be introduced to the National Assembly for Wales by Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething today.
Speaking after the introduction of the Bill, Swansea East AM, Mike Hedges said… ‘I welcome this new bill; it is important that we have openness and transparency in the operation of the Health Service. This Bill puts this on a firm legislative footing which can only be a good thing. I also support the closer integration of Health and Social Care which this bill brings a step closer. There is much to be commended in this bill, and I will look forward to supporting it as it progresses through the Senedd.’
The Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Bill will embed a system-wide approach to quality in health for future generations. This will be achieved by reframing and broadening the existing duty of quality on NHS bodies, and placing an overarching duty on the Welsh Ministers in relation to their health service functions. This will ensure that when they make a decision they actively consider if it secures improvement in quality and outcomes.
Through the establishment of an organisational duty of candour, the Bill will support a culture of openness, transparency and candour that is widely associated with good quality care and further ensure NHS organisations are open and honest with patients and service users when things go wrong.
Its introduction builds on the work that has already been undertaken for transparency amongst NHS bodies in Wales, and supports an environment that is consistently learning and improving, whilst maintaining the trust and confidence of patients and service users.
The Bill will also see the creation of a new independent citizen voice body, which will replace the current Community Health Councils. This single body will represent the voice of the public and provide complaints advice and assistance for individuals in relation to their health and social care experience.
This reflects the aims of the Welsh Governments plan ‘A Healthier Wales’ by supporting the drive towards closer integration of health and social care and putting people’s voices at the heart of the design, delivery and improvement of services.
The Bill will also give Ministers the opportunity to appoint a Vice Chair on NHS Trust boards if they consider it appropriate to ensure consistency across Local Health Boards and Trusts, and strengthen leadership and governance arrangements.