The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to ban smoking in private vehicles when a person under 18 was present. The consultation would close on 24 October 2014.
Source: Smoke-Free Private Vehicles Carrying Children Under 18, Welsh Government
The Welsh Government published a Bill designed to: set a framework within which public authorities would seek to ensure the needs of the present were met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (the sustainable development principle); put into place well-being goals (defined in the Bill); set out how the work towards those goals would be demonstrated; put Public Services Boards and local well-being plans on a statutory basis and simplify existing requirements as regards integrated community planning; and establish a Future Generations Commissioner for Wales to advocate for future generations, and to advise and support Welsh public authorities in carrying out their duties under the Bill.
Source: Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill, Welsh Government, TSO
The Welsh Government began consultation on draft guidance for healthcare practitioners to assist effective working with Gypsies and Travellers. The guidance included a summary analysis of the research and evidence base, together with advice on, and examples of, effective practice with these communities. The consultation would close on 30 October 2014.
Source: Travelling to Better Health: Guidance for healthcare practitioners on working effectively with Gypsies and Travellers, WG22725, Welsh Government
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to extend access to intermediary services (support to facilitate contact between adopted people and their birth relatives) to the children and grandchildren of adoptees, and to members of the adopted person's wider family, such as the spouses of their descendants. Under the proposals (which would apply to adults adopted in Wales before 30 December 2005), adopted people would be able to register a veto to prevent an intermediary agency from making contact or to say that they only wanted to be contacted in certain circumstances. The consultation would close on 27 October 2014.
Source: Extending Access to Intermediary Services for Descendants and Relatives of Adopted People, WG22541, Welsh Government
A report examined the evidence for successful models of primary care, based on a rapid review of the literature. It said that, in comparison with other countries, the existing primary healthcare system in Wales was good and provided an effective, efficient, and well liked service, but there were areas of concern, including: an unacceptable variation in service provision and quality; difficulties in access to services; signs of a unsustainable imbalance between workload and capacity; and a fall in the percentage of health budgets and health workforce in primary care.
Source: Kathrin Thomas, Paul Myres, Graham Brown, Clare Wilkinson, and Helen Howson, Rapid Review of Primary Care Models and Policy: Discussion paper for Wales, NHS Wales
A report said that the National Health Service in Wales could face a funding shortfall of £2.5 billion by 2025-26 if funding rose in line with inflation beyond 2015-16 (known as flat real terms spending), even after accounting for the efficiency savings currently being made. The report attributed the rising pressures on the service in Wales to a range of factors, including the ageing population, the impact of chronic disease on hospital admissions levels, and increased operating costs (primarily due to wage pressures). The report said that the funding gap could be reduced to £1.1 billion by increasing spending in line with economic growth levels, and that the shortfall could then be largely closed through sustained productivity gains and improved treatment for chronic conditions.
Source: Adam Roberts and Anita Charlesworth, A Decade of Austerity in Wales? The funding pressures facing the NHS in Wales to 2025/26, Nuffield Foundation
The Welsh Government began consultation on draft guidance and regulations relating to the implementation of provisions in the United Kingdom Government's Care Act with regard to cross-border placements. The consultation would close on 19 August 2014.
Source: Welsh Government
Links: Consultation website
A report examined findings from a series of workshops on the development of 'prudent healthcare' in the National Health Service in Wales. Prudent healthcare was defined as delivering three objectives: to do no harm; to carry out the minimum appropriate intervention; and to promote equity between professionals and patients. The report discussed the range of change that would be required within NHS Wales to shift towards the delivery of prudent healthcare.
Source: Peter Bradley, Alan Willson, Paul Buss, Stephen Harrhy, Hamish Laing, Graham Shortland, Hugo van Woerden, Jon Matthias, and Sarah Puntoni, Achieving Prudent Healthcare in NHS Wales, NHS Wales/Public Health Wales
The Welsh Government published a summary of responses to its consultation on proposals to strengthen the regulation and inspection of social care. The report said that there had been broad support for the proposals set out in the White Paper, alongside some requests for clarification and more details on certain elements, and a number of respondents identified that they would be keen to engage with Welsh Government in the further development of the proposals. It said that some areas of the consultation (such as negative registration and fees for registration of service providers) were unpopular with respondents.
Source: The Future of Regulation and Inspection of Care and Support in Wales: Consultation ï¿½ summary of responses, Welsh Government
The Welsh Assembly approved the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act. The Act was designed to bring together a wide range of local authorities' duties and functions in relation to improving the well-being of people who needed care and support, and of carers. The provisions covered assessment procedures and requirements for meeting need, as well as provisions regarding children and young people within the care system, partnership working, and complaints.
Source: Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, Welsh Government, TSO
The public health advisory service of Wales published its first strategy for nursing, developed following consultation with nurses and midwives.
Source: Raising the Profile: The Public Health Wales Nursing and Midwifery Strategy, May 2014-2017, Public Health Wales
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to introduce new arrangements for multi-agency adult practice reviews, to replace the current serious case review policy and procedure. The consultation document was accompanied by draft guidance. The consultation would close on 27 June 2014.
Source: Protecting Adults at Risk in Wales: Arrangements for Multi-Agency Adult Practice Reviews, WG21166, Welsh Government
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to introduce public health legislation. The proposals included: action to reduce harms to health caused by smoking, alcohol misuse, and obesity; strengthening the role of Local Health Boards when planning and delivering pharmaceutical services; improved provision and access to toilets for public use; and better regulation of certain types of procedures, such as cosmetic piercing and tattooing. The consultation would close on 24 June 2014.
Source: Listening to You: Your health matters – consultation on proposals for a Public Health Bill, WG20703, Welsh Government
A report examined the quality of National Health Service patient care in the four United Kingdom countries since devolution, based on analysis of around 20 indicators from the 1990s onwards. It said that there had been significant improvements across all four countries, with the performance gap between England and the rest having narrowed in spite of policy differences between the four countries. The report said there had been particular progress in Scotland, but that waiting times in Wales had risen since 2010. All countries had increased the amount spent on healthcare, but spending had slowed in response to austerity. The report compared results with an earlier study in 2010 and also analyzed the north east of England as a comparator to the devolved countries.
Source: Gwyn Bevan, Marina Karanikolos, Jo Exley, Ellen Nolte, Sheelah Connolly, and Nicholas Mays, The Four Health Systems of the United Kingdom: How do they compare?, Health Foundation/Nuffield Trust
An article examined the types of choices available to patients in the English National Health Service when being referred for acute hospital care, in the light of the divergence of patient choice policy in the four countries of the United Kingdom. There were challenges in implementing pro-choice policy in healthcare systems where it had not traditionally existed. Differences between England and the other UK countries were limited in the way choice was offered to patients. A cultural shift was needed to ensure that patients were fully informed by family doctors of the choices available to them.
Source: Marie Sanderson, Pauline Allen, Stephen Peckham, David Hughes, Menna Brown, Grace Kelly, Debbie Baldie, Nicholas Mays, Alison Linyard, and Anne Duguid, 'Divergence of NHS choice policy in the UK: what difference has patient choice policy in England made?', Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, Volume 18 Number 4
A report examined apprenticeships in the health sector in Wales, the factors underpinning demand, and the barriers to increasing uptake. It said that apprenticeships played an important role in supporting the sector in both clinical and non-clinical roles, but the majority of apprentices had been existing staff, and over half of the new starters were on non-health programmes. Awareness and take-up of health apprenticeships in other parts of the health sector (outside the health boards) was low and, where respondents were aware of apprenticeships, they most often reported that they were for young people, and were not thought of as used in clinical or health-related occupations. The report made recommendations for Skills for Health to work with organisations to improve uptake and opportunities.
Source: Apprenticeships in the Welsh Health Sector: Issues and opportunities to increase uptake, Skills for Health
A report examined the role of the assistant practitioner in the health sector in Wales. The role was at a higher level of competence than a traditional healthcare support worker, located between registered health professionals and healthcare support worker roles. The report said that the role had been developed in a number of occupational areas and, where used, was well received and achieved cost savings. It said there was a broad range of challenges confounding the widespread adoption of the AP, but noted that a future increase in community-based care could create demand for more practitioners, with some of those roles straddling health and social care. It noted the need for education and training.
Source: Assistant Practitioner Roles in the Welsh Health Sector: Enhancing the potential for future development, Skills for Health
A report examined inequalities and inequities in access to health services in Wales and the United Kingdom that were associated with characteristics of gender, sexual identity, and gender reassignment. While noting many points at which inequalities and inequities arose, the report said that much of the evidence came from small scale studies that raised issues regarding generalization. It recommended a full review across all of the groups protected by the Equalities Act 2010, and for further work to establish existing areas of intervention and good practice.
Source: Deborah Brewis, Review of Evidence of Inequalities in Access to Health Services in Wales and the UK: Gender, gender reassignment, and sexual identity, Social Research Paper 8/2014, Welsh Government
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to implement guidance for mental health services for prisoners in Wales. The consultation would close on 24 February 2014.
Source: Policy Implementation Guidance: Mental health services for prisoners in Wales, Welsh Government
Links: Consultation document
The Welsh Government began consultation on proposals to change the substance misuse service user involvement framework for Wales. The framework would offer guidance on engaging with service users in the design, commissioning, operation and evaluation of substance misuse services. The consultation would close on 7 April 2014.
Source: Substance Misuse Service User Involvement Framework, Welsh Government
Links: Consultation document
A report examined the evidence on the relationship between housing and health. It reviewed relevant literature on the links between changes to the built environment and their potential impact on health, examined some health impact case studies, and outlined the Welsh policy context.
Source: Ellie Byrne, Eva Elliott, Liz Green, and Julia Lester, Housing and Health Evidence Review for Health Impact Assessment (HIA), Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit, NHS Wales
The Welsh Assembly approved the National Health Service Finance (Wales) Act. The Act was designed to remove the existing annual financial duty in the National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006, replacing this with a 3-year rolling financial duty, together with a tolerance threshold.
Source: National Health Service Finance (Wales) Act, Welsh Government, TSO