Our work in health & social care has focussed on providing practical policy solutions to challenges the NHS in Wales faces.
Demographic pressures on the health service are growing. In 2008 18% of the Welsh population were over 65, but this is set to rise to 26% by 2033. Meanwhile resources are ever tightening. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimate there was an 8.6% cut to the Welsh health and social care budget between 2010 and 2014.
While the 2016-7 budget has maintained health spending, there are concerns over the pressures facing the Welsh NHS. Currently health & social care makes up 46% of the entire Welsh budget. Projections from Wales Public Services 2025 show that in a worst case scenario health could consume 67% of the entire Welsh Government budget by 2024-25.
Policymakers and practitioners are grappling with these pressures when trying to deliver consistent and effective care.
The IWA’s work on health & social care over the last few years has ranged from cancer care to dementia to food policy.
Our innovative ‘Let’s talk cancer’ project ran over three months in 2015 and consulted over 9000 people affected by cancer in Wales on what could be done to improve their care. Our findings were centred around the theme of communication; ranging from more support with transport to access services, to access to patient notes and ways to address delays with scheduled appointments. Our work will now look at testing solutions to these ideas in a health setting, using ideas from both patients and practitioners.
In August 2015, leading Broadcaster Beti George delivered a lecture on dementia care at the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol.
The third in our Senedd Papers series, which suggests ‘oven ready’ policy ideas for the political parties to adapt in their manifestos, looked at food policy in 2015. ‘Good food for all’ was authored by Professor Kevin Morgan, an internationally-renowned expert on sustainable food, who made the case for Wales to actively embrace the good food movement to promote a wide variety of causes, including health and wellbeing, social justice, ecological integrity and animal welfare.
You can see our work on health & social care below. To support our upcoming work on health, please consider joining the IWA.