NHS Wales - About Us
NHS Wales is the publically funded National Health Service of Wales providing healthcare to some 3 million people who live in the country. The NHS has a key principle which is that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth.
If you are looking for information from a patient's perspective then NHS Direct Wales is a health advice and information service available 24 hours a day, every day.
Health in Wales is the website of National Health Service (NHS) Wales, and brings together information sources about the health and lifestyle of the population of Wales.
NHS Wales provides services ranging from smoking cessation, antenatal screening, and routine treatments for coughs and colds to open heart surgery, accident and emergency treatment and end-of-life care.
The NHS in Wales is the responsibility of the devolved Welsh Assembly Government.
More information on the system can be found at:
In May 2005, the Welsh Assembly Government released it’s strategy for the future of health and social care in Wales -
The strategy encapsulates the government’s vision of transforming the NHS “from the national illness service it currently is into a truly national health service”. To achieve this, the strategy outlines the kind of health and social care services we can expect by 2015 and provides the strategies to achieve this. This is underpinned by three aims:
- Lifelong health
- Fast, safe and effective services
- World class care
Further information can be found on our Strategies page:
Department of Health and Social Services Organisation and Reporting
The Welsh Assembly Government's Directorates are headed by senior civil servants. The Director General for Health and Social Services is Paul Williams who is also Chief Executive of NHS Wales.
The Department for Health and Social Services advises the Assembly Government on policies and strategies for health and social care in Wales. This includes contributing to relevant legislation and providing funding for the NHS and other related bodies.
There are 3 Regional Offices of the Department, for North Wales, Mid & West Wales and South & East Wales.
These act as agents of The Chief Eecutive on a day to day basis by holding to account the Chief Executives of the statutory NHS bodies and managing their performance in line with the Framework for Continuous Improvement. You can find more information and contact details via the links below:
The Chief Medical Officer holds the appointment of Director of the Department for Public Health and Health Professions.
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO) leads on policy and programmes for the protection and improvement of people's health and for the reduction in inequalities in health. It also provides professional and medical advice to Ministers, the Health & Social Care Department and other parts of the Welsh Assembly Government.
The National Health Service Wales
NHS Wales is one service made up of a number of organisations.
The NHS Wales Directory of Services provides contact details for all NHS Wales organisations, groups and individuals:
More about the way in which the service is structured can be found below:
The NHS in Wales employs close to 90,000 staff which makes it Wales’ biggest employer. The NHS is a labour intensive service and its pay bill accounts for at least 75% of its total annual cost.
NHS Staff are drawn from many professions and occupational groups and work in variety of settings across Wales. In addition to staff employed directly by the NHS there are contractor professions including dentists, opticians, pharmacists and nearly 2,000 General Practitioners (GPs) who predominantly work in primary care settings.
Statistics on NHS Wales staffing are available from the Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Assembly Government.
NHS Employers represents trusts on workforce issues and helps employers to ensure the NHS is a place where people want to work. NHS Employers is part of the NHS Confederation.
The Welsh NHS Confederation is an independent membership body for the full range of organisations that make up today’s NHS in Wales.