Oct 102014

Peter Bradley

Professor Peter Bradley

Making prudent healthcare happen is a new website that was launched this week at the Welsh Public Health conference. It is an important online resource for everyone who works in NHS Wales, and everyone who relies on NHS Wales services, because it gets under the skin of ‘prudent healthcare’ and explores ways we can deliver better care and better outcomes.

Prudent healthcare has a central emphasis on outcomes – the results of what we do. We need to have a hard look at everything we offer as healthcare professionals and across all our support functions in NHS Wales. The question we need to ask is ‘Do we deliver high quality, good value services?’ And if we don’t know the answer, we must try and find out.

In his introduction on the website, the Health Minister describes the moves towards prudent healthcare as “the start of a journey.” But he also notes that it will only be delivered by the people who work in the NHS, working in partnership with other organisations and, most importantly, the public.

So, there are some very big questions in prudent healthcare. How do we empower people? How do we give staff the freedom and authority to make changes in the way they work? How do we help everyone in Wales make wise choices about the things that will affect their health? We want people to take more responsibility for their health, but we must make sure we give them the tools, techniques and opportunities to do it.

Public Health Wales has also produced a chapter on the key role prudent public health will play in alleviating the pressures on the system and improving the health of the people of Wales. We know that interventions before people become unwell will have a huge benefit on the health of the population and NHS Wales.

Prudent healthcare is an opportunity for us to transform what we are doing and focus on delivering services that meet people’s needs. It will also help us to listen more carefully to what people are telling us they want from the healthcare service.

The new website puts this listening emphasis into practice because it is open for people to comment on all the contents and put forward their views. I would love to hear your thoughts on prudent healthcare on the website.

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