A prudent approach to health and care, incorporating the values people, patients and local communities attribute to their health and care services, is key to transforming the health and care system.
Leaders from Welsh health and care think tank the Bevan Commission, writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, say that the range of effects regarded as valuable by patients should be taken into account. They also say that prudent planning and decision-making should include stopping low-value work, using all skills and resources to best effect, and redirecting resources to those in greatest need.
Helen Howson, Director of the Bevan Commission, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of marrying our values with value to focus on what really matters. A prudent approach to health and care aims to work co-productively with people, managing all the skills and resources we have available to us in a way that helps us to achieve the best possible outcomes for all.”
She went onto say that the health and social care system must ensure that it puts people’s needs first and not those of the system or its services.
Future investment decisions must recognise the prudence of protecting and improving health and wellbeing and population health which should be based on a values-based leadership model, write the authors. Leaders, they say, should be flexible and open to challenge and change at every level and face up to questions about how the workforce will operate and be trained in the future.
Ms Howson added: “There is a need to transform our system through our values while remaining aligned to the founding principles of the National Health Service. By incorporating the prudent principles and vision, the system in Wales will understand and tackle health inequalities as part of a whole-system, values-based approach.”