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Putting Quality at the Heart of Public Health Wales

Published: 10 July 2024

Public Health Wales is proud to announce the release of its first Annual Quality Report under the new Duty of Quality. The report includes 50 stories demonstrating how our teams drive quality by identifying areas of concern, developing improvement plans, and implementing solutions to enhance our services.  

The Duty of Quality impacts every team within Public Health Wales, from services we provide to the public, like our Screening Division, to support functions such as Finance and People and Organisational Development. Coming into effect on 1 April 2023, the Duty of Quality forms part of the Health and Social Care (Quality Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020.  

It defines quality as “continuously, reliably, and sustainably meeting the needs of the population that we serve.” This Duty encompasses 12 Health and Care Quality Standards that guide our commitment to delivering high-quality services across all areas of our organisation. 

One of the highlighted stories in this year's report focuses on our initiative to combat diabetes, a growing concern in Wales. Diabetes significantly impacts health, affecting eyesight, circulation, and leading to heart and kidney disease, long-term disability, and earlier death. Since 2009-2010, Wales has seen a 40% increase in the number of people living with diabetes. If current trends continue, it is estimated that by 2035, one in 11 adults in Wales could be living with diabetes. 

In response to these alarming statistics, Public Health Wales has developed the Tackling Diabetes Together Programme in collaboration with NHS partners. This programme aims to address health inequalities that contribute to the risk of developing diabetes and ensure better management of the condition. A toolkit was created to help services across Wales identify high-risk groups and provide the necessary support to prevent diabetes from worsening​​. 

Another key initiative featured in the report is a project aimed at increasing vaccine equity for people with learning disabilities. Despite the critical role of vaccinations in preventing diseases, some groups, including those with learning disabilities, have lower vaccination rates. To address this, Public Health Wales, in collaboration with Improvement Cymru and Learning Disability Wales, produced a YouTube video and an easy-read guide to explain the vaccination process. 

This resource is designed to help people with learning disabilities make informed decisions about vaccinations and understand how to seek assistance during their vaccination appointments. This initiative is part of our broader effort to develop a Vaccination Literacy Plan, ensuring vaccine information is accessible and comprehensible for all​​. 

Claire Birchall, Executive Director of Quality and Nursing, emphasised the significance of the Duty of Quality in her statement to support the publishing of the Plan:

"The Duty of Quality and the 12 standards give us the structure and challenge that we need, and it’s a gift that we will use to continue to be our best. Our commitment is to continually improve and develop our services with quality and improvement at the centre of all we do. 

“Public Health Wales is dedicated to achieving a healthier future for the people of Wales by embedding the Duty of Quality into all our processes and services. We look forward to continuing this journey of improvement and excellence in the years to come​​.” 

For more detailed insights, please read our Annual Quality Report for 2023-2024. 

For more information on the Duty of Quality, visit our webpage here: