This week Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons has outlined how, from 1 June, new standards will be expected of the NHS in Wales. The 32 standards, which cover aspects from quality of treatment to reduction of healthcare associated infections, aim to ensure a consistent level of care across the country.
What the Healthcare Standards provide is one clear reference document outlining the expected standards for everyone who has contact with the health service – from patients to professionals. The standards will be used for internal assessments by healthcare organisations and for external review and investigation by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.
Launching the standards, Dr Gibbons stated: “We need to focus on delivering an NHS that places patients at the heart of everything we do. It will no longer be acceptable for NHS organisations to concentrate solely on areas where there are national targets for improvement. They must take full account of the quality, safety and patient preferences in all the services they provide.
“To improve services we need to make sure the views of patients, service users, their carers and relatives are always considered. This is why the standards reinforce the message that the planning and delivery of healthcare must reflect the views and health needs of local people.
“Everyone in Wales has the right to access the same quality of service regardless of where they live. I hope these standards will ensure that happens.”
For more on the Welsh Assembly Government’s health policies, visit: www.wales.gov.uk/subihealth