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Ending the postcode lottery: the case for an independent NHS Wales executive

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Convened by RCP Cymru Wales, 22 organisations have come together to call for a single national body with strategic oversight of NHS Wales to drive improvements in patient care and hold health boards to account.  

A group of 22 organisations working across health and social care have come together to launch Ending the postcode lottery, which calls for an end to fragmented health services. 

A single, independent national NHS Wales executive would be better placed to improve patient care and deliver on the aims of A healthier Wales. An independent body with the right powers would have the authority to:

  • support system transformation across health board boundaries
  • play a national leadership role in service improvement
  • collect and analyse data to improve performance
  • improve patient outcomes across clinical specialties, public health and inequalities
  • provide strong governance and accountability to ensure that the NHS in Wales gets the best value from its combined resources.

Dr Olwen Williams, Royal College of Physicians vice president for Wales said:

‘First promised by the Welsh government in 2018, we have seen almost no progress on the creation of an NHS Wales Executive to drive improvements in patient care. Doctors have repeatedly raised concerns with the Welsh government about the very real postcode lottery of care which comes at an enormous human and financial cost.

‘Regional health planning would allow for a more strategic approach – but this is not happening effectively in most of Wales and is certainly not happening quickly enough. A single national body with strategic oversight would be able to drive transformation more quickly and more efficiently. Let’s face it, the current system is not working.’