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We need to work together to Build Healthier Communities

The Welsh NHS Confederation will host their 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition today (Wednesday 6th February) at Cardiff City Hall.

The national membership body representing NHS organisations in Wales will bring together a range of sectors to discuss how to Build Healthier Communities.

A Healthier Wales sets a clear direction of travel and the NHS is working with partners throughout Wales to implement this vision.

Recent Welsh NHS Confederation reports have highlighted the need for preventative healthcare to underpin improvements in population health and wellbeing in Wales.

The cost of poor housing to the NHS has been found to be approximately £1.4bn across the UK, with 10% of winter deaths in Wales also caused by fuel poverty.

440,00 people in Wales have also reported feeling lonely or isolated making it increasingly clear the NHS cannot face these issues alone.

Using the Welsh Government Transformation Fund and Regional Partnership Boards the NHS is investing in new models of care, based in communities and focussed on providing high quality seamless services.

With continuing austerity, the NHS and local government budgets will continue to be under immense pressure. It is therefore more important than ever that we focus on the needs of our population and align our resources, people and funding to make the most impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities

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Bernadine Rees OBE, Chair of The Welsh NHS Confederation said:

“Building Healthier Communities is about so much more than the NHS – it’s about a vibrant local economy, sustainable social care, decent housing, excellent education, good transport links, accessible leisure and community facilities and of course a sense of community.

“While working through significant pressures this Winter, we have also been putting our health service on a more sustainable path. We have already started delivering on the Welsh Government’s long-term plan, taking forward various projects to develop joined-up and scalable community care. If implemented well, we should start to see the pressure on our system ease over time.

“All of this is ultimately for the patients and people we care in our local communities. Success for us takes people out of our hospitals and supports them to be well throughout their lives and if necessary care for them as close to home as possible while maintaining the high level of service we already provide.”

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