Hart expects NHS Wales to deliver on Annual Quality Framework

Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart AM has written to the Chairs of NHS Local Health Boards in Wales alerting them to the new Annual Quality Framework (AQF).

In relation to mental health the AQF states:

• “By the end of March 2011 organisations must have agreed and set local targets for implementing the following in 2011 /12: An increase in the number of people living independently at home or usual place of residence in their area, in particular, patients with a mental illness…” (page 7)

• “full compliance with the Care Programme Approach (CPA) across all age groups, and implementation of intelligent targets for dementia and depression.” (page 8 )

• “Organisations will be expected to produce actions relating to existing government commitments and requirements in relation to…Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).” (page 11 )

In her letter to the Chairs Ms. Hart states that: “The new LHB structures allow for new ways of solving existing challenges…and allows greater flexibility for the NHS to innovate and improve services.” She concludes: “I am expecting you to ensure that your organisations are aware of their responsibilities, and that they deliver the AQF requirements.”

Interpreting what the AQF means for mental health service users, Hafal Chief Executive Bill Walden-Jones said: “The Government is right to identify that the priority for mental health services is to fulfil the standard required for assisting people receiving secondary services upwards – that is what compliance with CPA means.”

To download a copy of the new AQF please visit: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/Documents/490/Final%20AQF%202011-12%20%2024%2001%2011.pdf

For more information on the Care Programme Approach in Wales please visit: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/health/publications/health/guidance/cpa/?lang=en

For information on Hafal please visit: www.hafal.org