This is the view of the public in Wales, according to new research carried out by the Bevan Commission over the last few months. The Bevan Commission’s 2024 publication A Conversation with the Public: Challenges and Opportunities for Change reveals the key findings from asking over 2000 citizens across Wales how to improve health and care.
The research discovered that people across Wales have an appetite for radical change to the health and social care system, and recognised the role the public should play in this change.
This report reveals a powerful public consensus: health starts at home and within our own communities. We need to use what we have in our local communities to support radical change and increase visibility and accessibility to schemes such as social prescribing.
One member of the public said: “Delivery of future health requires a bold, radical change. Greater investment is needed in preventative health, community, primary care, social prescribing, and the voluntary sector. Bring back day centres, home help that shifts focus from care, to ‘helping’ others to help themselves.”
Another member of the public said: “People want to be healthy and live long and fulfilled lives but need help to do this. It needs to be simple, accessible and easy to access services. For all ages, abilities and backgrounds”.
“Communities have the ability to look after themselves but to do so require sustainable and adequate investment in those community-based services. Let’s stop talking about prevention and actually start properly funding community-based prevention services, as these play a pivotal role in helping people to maintain their health and wellbeing.” Member of the public
Technology will be vital to improve services but must be accessible for all. Technology can help people look after themselves, self-monitor, receive communications, access services, and wider information such as their own health records. As digital technologies develop at speed, we must ensure that Wales is not left behind.
“Every time I visit the GP or any hospital department, I have to repeat all info from scratch that should be available via a shared CRM [system]. Departments do not adequately share information. I believe this adds to information being lost, delays in treatment, missed opportunities and unnecessary escalation” Member of the public
Whilst views were broadly consistent across all Health Board localities, there were regional differences in health and care needs. More specialised regional services would ensure that individuals have rapid access to high quality care.
Helen Howson, Bevan Commission Director said: “We invite policymakers, healthcare professionals, and communities to join us in a collective effort to revolutionise our health and care system. Together, we can honor the legacy of Aneurin Bevan by embracing these brave and radical changes, ensuring a resilient, efficient, and compassionate healthcare system for current and future generations”.
Ilora Finlay, Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Chair of the Bevan Commission said: “People in Wales recognise the need to travel to centres of excellence to get the most up-to-date treatment from highly skilled staff who have access to their relevant clinical information. And they want to know how to avoid ill-health in the first place for themselves and those they love.”
Notes to Editors
The full report is available for download on the Bevan Commission’s website here: https://bevancommission.org/a-conversation-with-the-public-report/
The Bevan Commission is Wales’ leading independent think tank for health and care.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a representative from the Bevan Commission, please contact Bevan Commission Communications Manager Hugh McCann at email@example.com.