31. July 2012 13:00
The NHS in Wales saw figures for emergency admissions for heart disease, respiratory conditions and diabetes fall by almost 12% last year.
Emergency re-admissions for the chronic conditions also fell by a quarter (23%) when compared to the same period the year before after improvements in community-based care.
David Sissling, NHS Wales Chief Executive, said in his Annual Report the results showed the health service is “making progress in shifting the balance of care from hospital to community settings.”
NHS Wales aimed to improve admission rates by improving the treatment of chronic conditions through better care in the community resulting in less reliance on hospitals to provide treatment.
The Chief Executive is now aiming to improve admission rates further after admitting more needs to be done.
“To continue to deliver better outcomes we need an even greater focus on community-based services – alongside specialist centres of excellence – which will provide better results for patients,” he said.
“In order to meet these challenges, we need to modernise our health services and over the coming months communities across Wales will get a chance to voice their opinions on changes to health services in their areas.”
Mr Sissling added that NHS Wales needs to be “more ingenious and innovative” when providing services.
However, these improvements will have to be made during a period of austerity for the health service. A recent report by the Wales Audit Office said the NHS needed to cut up to £1bn from its annual budget by 2015.
22. June 2012 12:29
The integrated health system adopted in Wales has allowed its NHS to make rapid improvements in its performance on emergency admissions, its chief executive has claimed.
David Sissling (pictured) told delegates at the NHS Confederation conference that the rejection of a split between commissioners and suppliers had resulted in improvements in a challenging environment.
However, he added that similar improvements in England are unlikely due to its fragmented and market-orientated NHS.
“We don’t work in a market,” he said. “We work much more on an integrated basis.
“We have a Labour administration in Wales that has made a very firm decision to move away from the market. That’s partly a political stance, partly what’s right for Wales,” he added.
The integrated approach in Wales sees seven health boards across the country providing both primary and secondary health care to set regions.
Mr Sissling said this approach allows primary and secondary healthcare staff to co-operate to improve standards of patient care without having to worry about financial repercussions.
This resulted in a reduction of emergency admissions for COPD by 16.5% and diabetes by 14.6% in a year, with emergency readmissions falling even further, Mr Sissling added.
These reductions, the chief exec said, took place at the same time as a severe financial squeeze on the Welsh NHS which saw its budget shrink in real terms.