Patients promised care 'contract'

The Welsh NHS is committed to redrawing its ‘contract’ with its patients, according to the Welsh Government's response to the Francis report on patient neglect in mid-Staffordshire. It stresses that there are already procedures in place and that the system is different to the English NHS.

In Wales, all services in an area are the responsibility of a single health board and there are community health councils to represent patients' interests. Under the redrawn 'contract' everyone who uses the NHS in Wales can expect:

  • to be cared for safely and compassionately, with dignity and respect
  • to have timely access to services
  • to be fully involved and informed in decisions about their care
  • to have easy access to their personal health information, which is kept securely and confidentially at all times
  • to be told openly and honestly when things may have gone wrong and they have been harmed by their care
  • to have their say about their care and health services and about any concerns they may have

The Welsh Government response says this can be achieved by leaders at every level in the NHS putting patients and patient safety at the heart of all that they do.

We are fortunate to have a leadership workforce motivated to go above and beyond, to do their best for patients as well as their staff. We must foster a culture will enables those in clinical and non-clinical leadership roles to be able to make the positive contribution they desire.

Leaders need to live the values and behaviours that we expect to ensure a culture where all staff know it is normal to be caring and compassionate; to put patients and their families first; to be held to account personally and up to date in all that we each do; to make it easier for patients to have integrated care; to be open and honest with colleagues; to recognise that staff make mistakes and help them to do it right.

And it is not normal to harm people, to ignore concerns or hide things when things go wrong; to assume ‘I know best'. This is our norm.

– ‘Delivering Safe Care, Compassionate Care’, Welsh Government response to the Francis report

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Welsh Govt on Francis report

The Welsh Government spells out hospital staff can do more to make sure that no patient is neglected and everyone is treated with dignity, compassion and respect.