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.