Remove barriers to unlock potential of NHS schemes, says WCPP report

Three national NHS programmes aimed at changing the relationship between patients and the health service will struggle to reach their potential without significant barriers being addressed, according to a new report by the Wales Centre for Public Policy.

The report reviews three NHS behaviour change programmes: Making Every Contact Count; Choosing Wisely Wales; and Social Prescribing, all of which aim to shift NHS provision towards promoting healthier behaviours and the prevention of ill health.

While each programme is found to have the potential to aid the NHS in reorienting provision towards prevention, their effectiveness is being reduced by significant structural and cultural barriers that reinforce current behaviours in the system.

Dr Craig Johnson, Research Associate at the Wales Centre for Public Policy, said:

“The evidence suggests that all three of these programmes have the potential to improve outcomes for patients. But many factors, like resource constraints and the perception of staff roles, are limiting the impact of these schemes.

“Given that each programme aims to change the way that the health service interacts with patients, there is a case to bring the three programmes closer together to help them work more effectively.

“The Welsh Government’s response to the recent Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care could lay the ground for bringing together the delivery of these schemes. A coherent package of measures that both supports a shift towards prevention, and helps change the relationship between patients and clinicians, would be much more effective.”

The full report can be read by clicking here.