Report by the Commission on Devolution in Wales »We hope that this Report will give us the foundation for a fundamental reform of the devolution settlement.Learn more »
Third round of Enterprise Zones Business Rates Scheme opens
Businesses in the seven Welsh Enterprise Zones are being invited to bid for more than £3 million in the latest round of a Welsh Government Business Rate scheme.
- Welsh Ministers take hard line to end FGM in Wales
- NHS Wales Awards 2014 Finalists Announced
Featured Article »Landmark social care Bill completes stage 3 scrutiny
- Third round of Enterprise Zones Business Rates Scheme opens
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- Business and economy
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- Consultation on the Statutory Guidance on Securing Sufficient Play Opportunities
- EIDCymru: an electronic movement reporting system for sheep and goats - the identification of sheep and the current slaughter derogation
- Achieving high standards together - a new framework for animal health and welfare in Wales
- Revising the national framework for Continuing NHS Healthcare (CHC)
- Phase 1 - Draft Report: Review of Audit, Inspection and Regulation
- Statutory Guidance to the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales in relation to the salaries of Local Authority Chief Executives
Featured consultation »A new framework for animal health and welfare in Wales
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Section highlightThe Housing (Wales) Bill
The Bill will introduce significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2013 - 2014 »
The First Minister detailed the 8 bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the 3rd year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update - December 2013
This Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan annex highlights planned investments and potential procurement opportunities.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2013-14 »
The 2nd Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2013-14, which was published on 25 June 2013.Learn more »
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Written Statement - NHS Wales Occupational Health Services
Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Health and Social Services
Together for Health, the five year vision for NHS Wales, recognises all NHS staff have a vital role in creating safe and effective care for the people of Wales and in shaping the future of our health services. Earlier this year, I launched Working Differently – Working Together, a strategic workforce and organisational development framework, to secure the right staff and to fully support and engage them in delivering excellent care. This includes promoting the health and wellbeing of staff through a range of work based initiatives.
There is good evidence of a link between staff health and wellbeing and the performance of health services, with good health and wellbeing of staff linked with improved patient safety, satisfaction and effectiveness of care. There is also clear evidence of a link between lifestyle factors and sickness absence. For example, smokers have been reported to have a higher chance of being absent from work than a non-smoker, and are off work for longer. There is, therefore, a compelling organisational and wider public health case for the NHS to lead by example, by improving the health and wellbeing of its staff.
There have been significant developments in improving health and wellbeing policies and services for NHS staff. Sickness absence has reduced, 6 of the 7 Local Health Boards and 1 of the 3 Trusts have achieved the Corporate Health Standard at Gold Level, our national quality mark for health and wellbeing in the workplace, and individual initiatives such as Cwm Taf Health Board’s Worksure Scheme, represent best employment practice. However, I recognise more needs to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, particularly those in primary care who have more limited access to occupational health services.
A group, chaired by Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, has reviewed the evidence on improving employee health and wellbeing and looked at the provision of occupational health services in NHS Wales. They identified variation in occupational health services between NHS organisations and further scope to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, lower sickness absence rates and generate net returns from investing in such services. Recommendations included:
- Modernising the current approach to occupational health, equipping NHS services to meet contemporary health issues in the workplace with a focus on ill health prevention and health improvement;
- Optimising current occupational health capacity to make best use of limited specialist resources;
- Making better use of ICT and telephone support services;
- Improving support to health professionals and, in particular, primary care practitioners as there is evidence health professionals deal with their ill health and access support in a different way to the general population;
- Improving the profile of occupational health and making a career in this area more attractive.
- The occupational health services of the Local Health Boards and Trusts should, in future, work as a network to enable better management of existing resources;
- The remit of Local Health Board occupational health services should be extended to cover primary care. This would reflect the integrated primary/secondary care basis of Local Health Boards;
- A Health for Health Professionals service should be established with a staged introduction of provision from October 2012. This new clinician led confidential service, which would include referral out of area if necessary, would have a full year budget of £163,400;
- An NHS Wales Health, Work and Well-being Framework is to be developed, with clear indicators for Local Health Boards and Trusts to achieve. I expect Local Health Boards and Trusts would report annually on their progress against the Framework.
I have asked my officials to meet urgently with the Local Health Boards and Trusts to ensure planning for the new arrangements is put in place.