This is the third paper in the Exploiting the Welsh Health Legacy series, and describes how we can drive and embed prudent health and care in Wales by building upon existing initiatives, using established networks to engage wider views and collaborating further with others to use the knowledge, experience and expertise of people and organisations including universities, industry and agencies.
The Bevan Commission recognises the unsustainability of the current health and care system that predominantly treats ill health at the expense of promoting health and wellbeing. Future health and care services will also need to be more focused upon addressing people’s needs, not just on paper, but in reality.
A Prudent Social Model sets out a clear vision and way forward for future Health and Care in Wales. It reinforces the need for rapid transformational change, moving away from traditional thinking and a solely medical model of care towards one that empowers and engages the passion and ideas of people to deliver innovative approaches based upon their own experience, ideas and expertise.
There is an urgent need to translate the thinking behind the development and application of the Prudent Model, reinforced by the Parliamentary Review into Health and Social Care which called for revolution not evolution and the more recent Welsh Government’s Long Term Plan: A Healthier Wales: our plan for Health and Social Care.
Action is now required to engage the ideas and passion of people and communities to shape current and future health and care services. A combination of approaches are needed to drive and embed Prudent Health and Care in Wales, including opportunities for patients and the public to describe what matters to them. The Bevan Commission’s ‘Big Conversation’ is the start of an ongoing process to help make this happen.
The paper describes how this can be done by;
- Building upon existing ideas and initiatives through schemes such as the Expert Patient Programme, Making Every Contact Count, Social Prescribing, will help ensure we are making the most of our current knowledge and expertise.
- Using established networks to engage wider views, skills and expertise will also help. Existing networks such as the National Federation of Women?s Institutes (NFWI) the third sector, community connectors, health and care facilitators all offer access and insight to the needs and solutions held by others.
- Collaborating further with others to use the knowledge, experience and expertise of people and organisations including universities, industry and agencies such as the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Bevan Commission.
Programmes which try out and test new ideas such as the successful Bevan Exemplars and Advocates provide a tried and tested infrastructure to assist people in developing their own innovative ideas and creating social movements for change, driven by people themselves.
We must also challenge ourselves and our ways of thinking and working our current practice, our individual behaviours and our organisational cultures, so that we are receptive and open to deliver the seamless new models of care required with a workforce that is fit for now and for the next 70 years.