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Author: The Bevan Commission

Published: June 14, 2021

This paper looks in detail at the challenge of tackling the backlog of people waiting for hospital treatment.

At the time of writing, there were almost 560,000 waiting for treatment – this is almost one in six people in Wales – and 217,655 of those people had been waiting more than 36 weeks, a rise of 192,021 since February 2020.

The Commission proposes a number of actions to overcome this challenge including creating new ways of working, improving efficiencies and creative staffing solutions. It also recognises that this cannot be done alone. There is a need for everyone to work together, sharing responsibility for their own health and the health of the population.

It makes three core recommendations that it believes will make the biggest impact:

Embedding technology that is easy to use into day to day health and care services to ensure it’s the default way patients and the NHS interact

Transforming Outpatient Care to avoid unnecessary visits to hospital, improve efficiency and redesigning pathways which put patients at the centre and involves them in their own health decisions

Creating specialist diagnostic and elective capacity across Wales by establishing Regional Specialist Centres to ensure expertise and resources are fully maximised including use of specialist and retired staff and theatres over extended days and weekends

Please note: this paper should be read alongside the Bevan Commission publication ‘Doing Things Differently: Supporting Service Development in the Community’.