2023 has been a crucial year for addressing the challenges and opportunities within the Welsh health and social care system. In it’s 75th year, the NHS faces unprecedented difficulties, from the aftermath of Covid-19, workforce challenges and financial strains. As Wales’ leading independent health and care think-tank, we have spent 2023 outlining and testing new approaches to create a more resilient and sustainable system. Our key thinking has been around tackling the often overlooked issue of Waste, understanding and giving voice to the public’s appetite for change, and empowering the workforce to develop and implement new prudent innovations using their unique knowledge gained from clinical practice.
2024 must be a year of action, radical ideas and brave decision making. Wales is not alone in facing these challenges which are being experienced in healthcare systems across the world. But, with our appetite for innovation, strength of community, and enduring legacy of Aneurin Bevan’s belief in fairness and equity, Wales has the potential to realise a world-leading healthcare system. Wales can do it.
Helen Howson, Director, Bevan Commission
The Tipping Point: Where next for health and care?
Marking the 75th year of the NHS, this landmark conference was a remarkable two days of internationally renowned speakers, stimulating breakout sessions and innovative exhibitors.
This conference sparked countless ideas, conversations and plans. We must not let this momentum fade. Collective action is critical to bring about the changes we need to ensure our health and social care systems are fit for the future. We encourage you to watch, share and discuss these inspiring videos with your colleagues. All keynote presentations, and conference proceedings are freely available below. In early 2024 we look forward to bringing together and formulating the ideas shared and generated at this event into a major publication which will set out our foundations for future models of health and care.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford MS addressing delegates.
We have published four major publications this year. These reports set out key ideas, visions and tools for transforming health and care to be innovative, sustainable and able to thrive in a changing world.
- Planned Care Innovation Programme Report
Next year, we will be publishing many more timely pieces of thinking and research, including the outcomes from Phase One of our Conversation with the Public, which collectively gathered the views of over two thousand members of the public with regards to the future of health and social care. We will also be publishing our Foundations for the Future Model of Health and Care in Wales which will build on themes and learnings from our conference The Tipping Point: Where next for health and social care? as well as our Conversation with the Public. Watch this space!
In 2023, we began supporting our eighth cohort of Bevan Exemplars, consisting of 40 innovative health and care projects across Wales from a range of disciplines. This brings the total number of Exemplar projects we have supported to over 350. The Bevan Exemplar Programme call for cohort 8, ‘Driving Change in Challenging Times,’ challenged applicants to develop prudent and innovative solutions to overcome issues facing the sustainable delivery of health and care services in Wales.
Bevan Exemplar Cohort 8
The PCIP Cohort
The Planned Care Innovation Programme
Our Planned Care Innovation Programme has supported 17 innovative projects in planned care throughout Wales in collaboration with Welsh Government. These projects, addressing areas from urology to diagnostics, have demonstrated financial viability and enhanced patient care, ready for national implementation. Initiated in April 2022 to tackle healthcare challenges intensified by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Planned Care Innovation Programme has led to significant advancements including home-based urgent X-Rays, rapid urinary tract infection diagnosis in primary care, and reduced waiting times in various specialties. These initiatives will optimise resource use, improve care quality, and shorten patient waiting times, thereby significantly advancing healthcare delivery in Wales. Read the outcome report here.
Let’s Not Waste
The health and social care system in Wales is facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a cost-of-living crisis and the global climate emergency. In response, we must develop innovative ways to use all available resources more efficiently. To aid and enable this, in 2023 we launched the Let’s Not Waste programme which is focussing upon supporting three main goals for health and social care:
- Reduce – products and services that are not essential
- Reuse – tools, equipment, and other resources
- Recycle – wherever possible to reduce waste and minimise the carbon footprint
Use the link below to explore more, access our growing compendium of waste-reduction case studies, and sign up to get involved in the programme.
A Conversation with the Public
At a time when important decisions are being made about how to transform and sustain health and social care services to meet the needs of a changing population, it is imperative that we all listen to the voices of people and communities across Wales. In order to understand how the people of Wales feel about the future of health and social care, the Bevan Commission recently held a Conversation with the Public. This consisted of seven ‘townhall’ style events in each Health Board’s locality as well as an online event and online survey.
These outcomes of these conversations will be shared in our forthcoming report A Conversation with the Public: Challenges and Opportunities for Change, a comprehensive publication which will share what we learnt from listening to the public. Key areas addressed in the report include access to health and care services, wider determinants of health such as housing, environment, and lifestyle factors, and the pressures faced by the health and care workforce. This publication will be essential read for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of public opinions, ideas, hopes and fears about our health and care system. Look out for this report in early January and sign up to our bulletin to be the first to hear about it.
We look forward to sharing this report early next year.
Innovation Intensive Learning Week
In November we enjoyed bringing together 28 professionals from health and social care at our 2023 Innovation Intensive Learning Week. Over the course of the week, attendees participated in an intensive program of expert presentations, case study reviews, discussion panels, and personalised coaching. This collaborative environment enabled attendees to step back from their day-to-day responsibilities and focus on developing solutions to the challenges they face in their workplaces, leaving them equipped with new insights, connections, and tools to drive positive change in the health and care system as we look towards 2024 and beyond.
“Thank you for a wonderful week of learning, growth, knowledge development and networking opportunities. Meeting the great leaders of the future has inspired and motivated me to go back to my organisation to bring about change.” – Innovation Intensive Learning Week Attendee
Attendees of the 2023 Innovation Intensive Learning Week
This year, we were delighted to welcome four new Bevan Commissioners. The Bevan Commissioners are an independent panel of 24 internationally renowned expert Commissioners who give their time freely to Wales. These are drawn from a variety of disciplines including industry, NHS, local government, armed forces, academia and the third sector. In 2024 we welcomed Professor Sir Andy Haines, Professor George Crooks OBE, Professor Sir Chris Ham, Dr Usman Khan who, along with all the Bevan Commissioners we thank for their invaluable contribution to ensuring a sustainable healthcare system fit for the future.