Challenges and Priorities for Health and Social Care in Wales

The challenges facing health and social care in Wales are complex and multifaceted. Systemic and workforce issues affect the smooth delivery of the health and care service, and specific health challenges faced by the Welsh population place increasing pressure on the system. The Wales Centre for Public Policy, in partnership with Kaleidoscope Health and Care, conducted a review of the issues to determine priorities once the current winter and pandemic-related pressures subside. Key policy documents were reviewed and interviews conducted with sector leaders to establish a broad view of the major challenges currently affecting health and social care in Wales. Senior figures from key organisations within the Welsh health and care system were convened at a ‘leaders’ summit’ to reflect on main challenges and discuss key priorities for the sector.

This report presents the ten key priorities for the Welsh health and social care sector identified through interviews and desk research, ranging from the need to rebalance the incentives to drive improvements within the system; to the need to improve the data collection and analysis relating to workforce planning. Out of the ten priorities, three areas were identified by senior leaders that could make the biggest difference to the Welsh health and social care sector, once current winter and pandemic-related pressures subside:

  • Supporting leadership and instilling management processes for transformational change
  • Recruiting, training, supporting, and developing the right workforce
  • Sustaining agility in decision making from the pandemic

The Centre is exploring whether and how it can support the sector in addressing these.