Posted: Mon 22nd Mar 2021

Health and care services pandemic recovery plan published – New technology to play key part

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Mar 22nd, 2021

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A new plan which aims to help the health and care system in Wales recover from the Covid-19 pandemic has been released.

The Health and Social Care in Wales COVID 19, which the Welsh Government say is supported by an initial £100 million funding, outlines the priorities for the health sector in the comings months and years.

Over the last 12 months the NHS and care sector have huge increased pressure and demand caused by the pandemic.

The new plan notes that coronavirus “remains a very real threat” and that “services will have to work under stringent infection prevention and control measures to protect patients and staff, which will impact on the number of patients they can see” for some time.

It is also acknowledged that the impact of the pandemic will continue to affect services.

The ‘Health and Social Care in Wales COVID 19: Looking Forward’ looks at the following key aspects of recovery and challenges:-

  • Reducing health inequalities to achieve a fairer Wales
  • Building more responsive primary and community care
  • Creating supportive mental health services
  • More effective and efficient hospital services
  • Better working between health and social services
  • Supporting and building a resilient workforce
  • Providing accessible digital support

New technology, much of which emerged during the pandemic, is stated as playing a key part in the future delivery of services and today £1.26m has been announced to set up a centre to promote the use of new technologies in health and social care.

The investment will allow Technology Enabled Care Cymru to promote the use of new technologies, such as virtual consultation and remote monitoring of patients at home.

NHS Wales Chief Executive Andrew Goodall said the health and social care system is committed to learning from the pandemic and scaling up technological innovation.

He added: “Previously, only 8 per cent of outpatient consultations were virtual, but this has increased to more than 43 per cent since the start of the pandemic,” he said.

“For many patients this is a significant improvement in how they access services and we need to build on that, while ensuring that capacity for face-to-face services is focused on people who need to be seen in person.”

Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on our health and social care system, patients and staff. As we emerge from the most serious stage of the pandemic, we are now in a position to set out how we can start to recover.

“This plan sets out the broad principles of recovery and more detailed actions will follow. I am making available an initial £100m now to support the first steps, but it is clear more resources will be needed to make a full recovery.

“It will be a long journey, but it is also an opportunity to transform how we deliver health and care services in the future, and to tackle the health inequalities in our society that the pandemic has made even more evident.

“That is why, alongside our recovery plan, I am also pleased to announce our National Clinical Framework, which sets out how we see NHS clinical services developing over the next decade.”

The National Clinical Framework describes how the strategic development of clinical services can make the NHS fit for the challenges of the 21st century and responds to key aspects of the Parliamentary Review on the future of health and social care in Wales.

Mr Gething said: “Developed with clinicians, these documents set out how we will meet our vision for a modern NHS that can meet the demand of the futures, as set-out in our long-term plan for health and social care, A Healthier Wales.”

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