A New Diagnostics Recovery and Transformation Strategy for Wales
In April 2023, a National Diagnostics Strategy was published with a view to aid the recovery of the NHS Wales diagnostic services.
Due to the changing behaviours of our global population, the still-present effects of COVID-19, and many other factors besides, our national health services continue to face new and emerging challenges. To drive improvement and deliver safe, sustainable services to the people of Wales, NHS Wales is working to address these issues.
At present, NHS Wales is facing large backlogs of diagnostic procedures, holding back the services from improving referral-to-treatment times, impairing the effectiveness of screening pathways, and resulting in less optimal patient experiences.
Through this new strategy, the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales hopes to support the recovery of diagnostic services. In particular, the strategy will help to coordinate supportive actions as we move away from the acute phase of the pandemic.
Eluned Morgan, the Minister, comments:
“COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of using evidence to inform our actions and we must do this again in order to accurately and openly describe the problems; address them through our policies, and for NHS Wales to deliver by NHS Wales.”
To assist in the success of this strategy, the National Diagnostics Board will recruit specific leadership positions, help monitor progress through clearly defined metrics, and set an ambitious but deliverable timetable from now until 2025. As well as setting out immediate objectives, the strategy also intends to deliver against needs that are yet to come.
Dr Dee Ripley, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser for Health (Wales) and Dr Rob Orford, Chief Scientific Adviser for Health (Wales) have provided the following joint statement:
“We are delighted to see the launch of this strategy that will lead to significant improvements in the accessibility and speed of diagnostic testing; resulting in more effective treatment plans, improved health outcomes, and ultimately a better quality of life for the people of Wales. By incorporating innovative technologies, optimising diagnostic pathways, and recognising the skills and expertise of the diagnostic workforce, this strategy will address some of the longstanding challenges in diagnostics, and is a significant milestone in the transformation of NHS Wales."
David Wells, Chief Executive of the IBMS, adds:
“Following on from the pandemic, our national health services must be supported to address unmet care needs that have been exacerbated by COVID-19. By working together under this new strategy, we hope our profession can support NHS Wales to diagnose, manage and treat disease more rapidly and earlier - leading to a better outcome for patients.”
To see the full strategy document on the gov.wales website, click here >>