New report shows NHS is delivering high-quality care
The NHS is delivering high-quality care and taking action to improve services where it needs to, the chief executive of NHS Wales, Dr Andrew Goodall has said.
The first NHS Wales Annual Quality Statement, which was published yesterday, provides an overview of the work being carried out by all NHS Wales organisations to improve the quality of care for people living in Wales.
It also describes some of the improvements made in the last year, including:
- More eye health examinations available in the community to avoid hospital appointments
- Improvements in care for people at the end of their lives
- Steps to make NHS services dementia friendly
- Reductions in the number of people developing infections in hospitals– deaths from MRSA have fallen 34%
- Clostridium difficile infections have fallen by 18%
- Vaccination levels are at their highest.
The publication of the NHS Wales Annual Quality Statement comes as the My Local Health Service website is being expanded to further increase transparency in health and social care. As of yesterday, the website, which provides a wide range of data and information about the performance of the NHS in Wales, will also include information about social services.
Dr Goodall said yesterday:
“All of us will be touched by the NHS at some point in our lives; it is a service at the heart of our nation with public service values at its heart. The NHS has millions of contacts with people every year in hospitals, local surgeries and in people’s homes.
“The NHS must deliver high-quality care and ensure that people have a good experience. This is why quality of care and patient safety are at the core of the day-to-day business of the NHS in Wales.
“The NHS Wales Annual Quality Statement, which is published today, provides an open and honest account of the successes and challenges over the previous 12 months and it sets out the key improvement priorities for the coming year.”
The NHS Wales Annual Quality Statement relates to 2014, which includes the period covered by the Trusted to Care report – which was published in May 2014 after concerns were raised about standards of care in some wards at the Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals. The Welsh Government and NHS Wales have acted on its findings at a local and a national level.
The way the NHS handles complaints and concerns has also been reviewed, and health boards and NHS trusts are implementing its many recommendations. New ways of keeping track of how NHS services are performing and where improvements need to be made have also been introduced.
The results of the latest national survey show that, overall, 91% of people were very satisfied with the care they received from the Welsh NHS.
There are a number of key areas the Welsh NHS will focus on in the next year, including:
- Helping people take care of and responsibility for their own health – leading a healthy lifestyle can help prevent illness and disability
- Developing joined-up services with other statutory services so care can be provided closer to home and working to prevent delays in treatment when people have to be admitted to hospital
- Continuing to implement the Trusted to Care recommendations and the findings from the subsequent spot checks of hospital medical and mental health wards
- Identifying people affected by dementia as early as possible so they receive the best possible care.
Dr Goodall added:
“NHS Wales must continue to improve so it provides people and their families across the country with high-quality care when they need it most.
“Meeting patient needs with dignity and respect is very important to the NHS. When this does not happen, we have taken action. Our underlying principle is that we must learn from our mistakes.
“Above all, we want to provide safe, compassionate care. We will act on feedback and work with the public and NHS staff to continue to ensure we have a truly national health service we can all continue to be proud of.”
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