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Saturday 22nd October 2016

Welsh health body scrapped?

11th June 2008

An official report has called for a body that controls specialist NHS treatment in Wales to be scrapped.

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The document, ordered by Health Minister Edwina Hart, wants to see Health Commission Wales (HCW) replaced by an independent body after fundamental flaws were found in its establishment.

Areas of concern included HCW being inadequately planned, under-funded and lacking a management board with an independent chair to provide support for the organisation.

Asking the author of the report Professor Mansel Aylward to deliver a set of working proposals, Ms Hart said that she wants a replacement panel to increase patient and public engagement in difficult decision-making processes.

She added: “I am convinced that substantially-increased engagement by members of the lay public in these profoundly difficult decisions will lead to improved transparency and public confidence in both the processes and its outcomes.?

The review came after a campaign from patients who said decision by HCW, which was set up in 2003 with a £550m budget to pay for treatments not normally available in Wales such as brain surgery and some cancer care, had denied them costly medical procedures.

Prof Aylward said in some cases the best interests of the patient were compromised and recommends that HCW is replaced with an organisation independent from the assembly government.

He also suggested that an appeals board, independent of the new organisation, should be established.

“The new system should ensure that patients can expect timely, high quality and transparent decision-making and management of complaints,? said Prof Aylward.


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