The NHS in Wales underwent major change in 2009 to equip it to deliver better heathcare to the population of Wales in the 21st century.
Why are we changing?
The One Wales Strategy document determined that we must redesign the delivery of the NHS in Wales, to improve health outcomes and ensure that the NHS
delivers care effectively with its partners.
A growing older population, more people living with chronic conditions, challenges in providing timely, effective and cohesive services in rural locations, increasing obesity rates and low levels of physical activity, service targets and a challenging financial climate, are just some of the major challenges facing us.
We need to provide more care closer to people’s homes and more self-care programmes to help people live more independent lives, provide more joined up
services between health and social care, and increasingly focus on public health, creating a wellness service, rather than a sickness service. It means a
shift in the balance of care, looking at whole systems rather than just hospitals. There is a strong emphasis on public health and long-term planning. (Source:NHS in Wales: Why we are changing the structure. Welsh Assembly Government October 2009)
The reorganisation of NHS Wales, which came into effect on October 1st 2009, has created single local health organisations that are responsible for delivering all healthcare services within a geographical area, rather than the Trust and Local Health Board system that existed previously. (Source: NHS Wales Reform)
More information can be found on the NHS Wales Reform website.
The NHS now delivers services through 7 Health Boards and three NHS Trusts in Wales.
The 7 Local Heath Boards (LHBs) in Wales now plan, secure and deliver heathcare services in their areas, replacing the 22 LHBs and the 7 NHS Trusts which together performed these functions in the past.
The Local Health Boards which existed prior to 01/10/2009 have now become locality offices for the new Health Boards. You can find more information below:
There are currently 3 NHS Trusts in Wales with an all - Wales focus. These are the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust for emergency services, Velindre NHS Trust offering specialist services in cancer care and a range of national support services and the new Public Health Wales.
Public Health Wales is the new unified Public Heath organisation in Wales.
The new NHS Trust which became fully operational on 1 October 2009 now exercises the functions of the National Public Health Service, Wales Centre for Health, Welsh Cancer Intelligence & Surveillance Unit, Congenital Anomaly Register & Information Service for Wales, and Screening Services Wales all with a nation wide remit.
National Advisory Board
From April 2009, the National Advisory Board has been responsible for providing independent advice to the Minister for Health and Social Services. The Board assists in discharging ministerial functions, and meeting ministerial accountabilities for the performance of the NHS in Wales.
National Delivery Group
The Chief Executive, NHS Wales, is responsible for providing the Minister with policy advice and for exercising strategic leadership and management of the NHS. To support this role, the Chief Executive will chair a National Delivery Group, forming part of the Department for Health and Social Services (DHSS).
This group is responsible for overseeing the development and delivery of NHS services across Wales.
Community Health Councils
Community Health Councils in Wales are statutory lay bodies that represent the interests of the public in the health service in their district. They give people an independent voice in their local NHS and the services it provides. The number of CHCs are being reduced to 7 contiguous with the new Local Heath Boards. The 7 new CHCs will be underpinned by 23 area associations with strong local links.
The National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (NLIAH)
The National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare (NLIAH) was launched in March 2005. Its purpose is to provide a national strategic resource to support NHS Wales in delivering the Designed for Life agenda by building leadership capacity and capability to secure continuous service improvement underpinned by technology, innovation, leading-edge thinking and best practice.