OVER 20 different organisations have come together to call for a complete overhaul of the national health service in Wales.

It comes after the worst ever performance figures for hospital emergency departments and the ambulance service in Wales were published, and warnings from doctors in North Wales that patients are dying in ambulances and waiting rooms due to overcrowding.

A group of 22 organisations working across health and social care have come together to call for a single national body with strategic oversight of NHS Wales to drive improvements in patient care and hold health boards to account.

They have launched the 'Ending the postcode lottery' campaign which calls for "an end to fragmented health services".

Those involved include the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Wales, The Royal College of Physicians Wales, The British Heart Foundation, Parkinson's UK and Cancer Research Wales.

They claim that a single, independent national NHS Wales executive would be better placed to improve patient care and deliver on the aims of a healthier Wales.

The organisations are calling for an independent body with the right powers would have the authority to:

  • Support system transformation across health board boundaries
  • Play a national leadership role in service improvement
  • Collect and analyse data to improve performance
  • Improve patient outcomes across clinical specialties, public health and inequalities
  • Provide strong governance and accountability to ensure that the NHS in Wales gets the best value from its combined resources.

Dr Abrie Theron, chair of Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Wales said: "I cannot see how the Welsh NHS is going to implement the changes needed for a Covid recovery without a NHS Executive team facilitating health boards working together as one for the patients of Wales."

Dr Olwen Williams, Royal College of Physicians' vice president for Wales, said: "First promised by the Welsh government in 2018, we have seen almost no progress on the creation of an NHS Wales Executive to drive improvements in patient care.

"Doctors have repeatedly raised concerns with the Welsh government about the very real postcode lottery of care which comes at an enormous human and financial cost.

"Regional health planning would allow for a more strategic approach – but this is not happening effectively in most of Wales and is certainly not happening quickly enough.

"A single national body with strategic oversight would be able to drive transformation more quickly and more efficiently. Let’s face it, the current system is not working."

Ann Tate, Cancer Research Wales chief executive added: "In a developed nation like Wales, cancer inequalities are unacceptable. A person’s cancer outcomes should not depend on your postcode. "A single, all-Wales NHS Executive should be able to oversee health boards and drive improvement, co-producing long-term patient-centred strategic transformation.

" To achieve this the new NHS Wales Executive needs to be independent and empowered. ‘Ending the postcode lottery’ makes a strong case for the Welsh government delivering such a body."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our Programme for Government committed to establishing an NHS Executive in Wales to achieve the aims of Healthier Wales.

"We look forward to working with stakeholders and the NHS to further develop our plans on how we can deliver this."

All the organisations to have pledged their support for the scheme are:

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Wales

Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Wales

British Heart Foundation Cymru

British Red Cross

British Society for Heart Failure

Cancer Research Wales

Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales

Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine

Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine

Hospice UK

Macmillan Cancer Support

Marie Curie

MS Society Cymru

Motor Neurone Disease Association

National Autistic Society Cymru

Parkinson’s UK Cymru

Royal College of Ophthalmologists

Royal College of Pathologists

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Royal College of Physicians

Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

Royal College of Surgeons of England