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Health & Care Standards

A commitment has been made to review the Health and Care Standards to ensure they are aligned with and support the commencement of the new Duty of Quality from April 2023. The review of the Health and Care Standards will be achieved via co-production with the NHS and other key stakeholders.  The review process commences in May 2021.

The Health and Care Standards set out the Welsh Government’s common framework of standards to support the NHS and partner organisations in providing effective, timely and quality services across all healthcare settings. They set out what the people of Wales can expect when they access health services and what part they themselves can play in promoting their own health and wellbeing. They set out the expectations for services and organisations, whether they provide or commission services for their local citizens.

The Health and Care Standards came into force from 1 April 2015 and incorporate a revision of the ‘Doing Well, Doing Better: Standards for Health Services in Wales (2010)’ and the ‘Fundamentals of Care Standards (2003)’.

Standards provide a consistent framework that enables health services to look across the range of their services in an integrated way to ensure that all that they do is of the highest quality and that they are doing the right thing, in the right way, in the right place at the right time and with the right staff.

The Health and Care Standards framework can be accessed here.

The Importance of Standards for health services in Wales is contextualised and explained. The standards framework is underpinned by supporting guidance for individual standards. 

The Health and Care Standards have been designed so they can be implemented in all health care services, settings and locations. They establish a basis for improving the quality and safety of healthcare services by providing a framework which can be used to identify strengths and highlighting areas for improvement. The public and patients must also take responsibility for helping the NHS to help them, through working with it and taking prudent action to protect and promote their own health.

‘How To Guides’ giving practical advice on how to self-assess against and implement the Health and Care Standards within NHS Teams and Services and for Third Sector organisations have been developed. It is recognised that services may achieve many of the standards through their professional standards and regulation.

Any enquiries relating to the standards should be emailed to Health and Care Standards Enquiries.