WQ93003 (e) Tabled on 23/05/2024

What assessment has the Cabinet Secretary made of the democratic oversight of the planning and delivery of health and social care services in Wales?

Answered by Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care | Answered on 31/05/2024

The democratic oversight of the NHS in Wales is underpinned by core legislation passed by the Senedd. This includes the NHS (Wales) Act 2006; Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015; the Social Services and wellbeing Act 2014, the Health and Social Care (quality and engagement) (Wales) act brought in June 2020; NHS Finance (Wales) Act 2014 and many more pieces of legislation.

As Cabinet Secretary I respond to the environment and challenges in which the NHS is operating at any time and you will be aware that this has been particularly volatile following the Covid 19 Pandemic, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis.

In addition to strengthening the focus on NHS performance and support for health boards through the NHS Wales Executive, that came into being on 1 April 2023, I continue to focus on how organisations function most effectively. To this end I have put in place a national Joint Commissioning Committee that brings together commissioning functions that were previously undertaken by separate bodies, to bring consistency for patients in Wales. The Joint Commissioning Committee ensures that the health boards work together in the wider interest of NHS Wales through the planning, securing and commissioning of services for the people of Wales.

In July 2023 I commissioned an independent accountability review. The review has been concluded and I am currently considering the recommendations that have been made and I will respond to these in due course.

I am committed to establishing ways we can engage with the public on improving health and social care services. To support this, we established Llais in April 2023, whose role is to represent the citizens voice in Wales.

The Senedd and its committees will continue to scrutinise myself as Cabinet Secretary and that of the wider Government as we work to deliver the best outcomes for people in Wales.