Chief Exec defends Welsh NHS

The Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales has insisted there does not need to be a major inquiry into standards of care, despite many high-profile failings. David Sissling has published his annual report, saying the health service is making progress.

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  1. Rob Osborne, Health Reporter

The NHS in Wales: in crisis, or rapidly improving?

The man in charge of the NHS in Wales has released his annual report and, despite a year of conflict and controversy across the service, it paints an upbeat picture of progress on many fronts.

David Sissling accepts there were "unprecedented pressures" on NHS Wales last winter.

He also says that acknowledging shortcomings can be "uncomfortable" - but much of the report highlights impovements not problems.

So, is it a system in crisis or a time of rapid improvement?

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Chief Exec insists no inquiry needed into Welsh NHS

NHS Wales Chief Executive David Sissling has insisted there does not need to be a major inquiry into the health service here, as the organisation is already doing a lot of work to review and improve.

There have been calls for an inquiry into the standards of care in the NHS in Wales, particular after it was 12 people have died over the last 15 months while waiting for cardiac surgery at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Critics have demanded a major inquiry, similar to the one carried out by Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director in England, into 14 hospital trusts with unusually high mortality rates there.

Mr Sissling told our Health Reporter Rob Osborne: "We're looking mortality rates and other indicators of quality care, we're bringing to bear external expertise where we need to do so, we're bringing the voice of the patient, the influence of our staff to bear."

"So in a sense we're undertaking this work, and we're doing it across all of the health system, not just looking at a very small percentage of hospitals and organisations. We're doing it for every part of the health service in Wales."

NHS in Wales had 'challenging year', Chief Exec admits

The annual report from the Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales has acknowledged that it has been "a challenging year indeed", with "unprecedented demand" on services during the winter period.

David Sissling has insisted though that there has been improvements to the health service here in "a year of progress".

The NHS in Wales has been under the media spotlight in the past year. Credit: PA

He said there has been progress on reducing healthcare associated infections, like C.difficile and MRSA, and reducing pressure points in hospitals.

He said the NHS had been more transparent, publishing new data on mortality and infection rates.

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