Auditor General flags good practice on Elective Waiting Times

12 Mar 2015 - 12:45pm

We've published a Compendium of Good and Promising Practice, a Checklist for health boards and patient survey results.

The Auditor General is delighted to release three new products today aimed at helping the NHS in Wales to improve the way it manages elective care services.  Our Compendium of Good and Promising Practice flags case studies and activities undertaken by the NHS in Wales including:

  • The introduction of Teledermatology which has led to more patients being treated by their GP rather than waiting for an outpatient referral (page 13).
  • Remodelling outpatient clinic models to reduce referrals to hospital specialists  (pages 17 and 18).
  • The introduction of shared decision making between medical professionals and patients (page 22).

We also looked beyond Wales to find practices that provide some lessons for health boards in Wales.  In particular, we considered examples that show how some of the principles of ‘prudent healthcare’ have been applied in other parts of the world. These include:

  • The ‘frugal innovation’ used to provide high quality, low cost cardiac care in Bangalore, India (page 21).
  • The “Nuka system” of healthcare from Anchorage, Alaska (page 23).

Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas added:

I am delighted to present the Good and Promising Practice Compendium as an opportunity to highlight some of the work that health boards are doing to improve elective care in Wales.  It is important the health boards learn from each other as well as from the inspiring international examples.  

We also want health boards to learn from the detailed findings from our survey – to build on the positive experiences of many patients but also to reflect on the concerns that a significant minority expressed.

Alongside the Compendium, we are publishing a checklist to help NHS bodies to test their performance. It sets out some of the key questions that health boards should ask themselves about their approach to elective care.  We plan to run workshops with independent members of health boards later in the year: using the Compendium and the Checklist to support them in their role of challenging the NHS to do better and improve waiting times for patients


We are also publishing the detailed results of our survey of patients in order to provide greater insight into patients’ experiences – good and bad - of being on a waiting list.