Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales, addressed delegates at the Council of Deans of Health’s Summit in Cardiff on Wednesday evening, speaking about his vision and priorities for health and higher education in Wales. He outlined how, in his current role as Minister for Health and Social Services, he has made it a priority to improve patient outcomes, reduce waiting times and explore the uptake of new digital technologies for NHS Wales.
During his speech, the Minister said:
‘I am very pleased to have been invited to speak at this event. In Wales we are fortunate to enjoy a close and constructive relationship both with the Council of Deans of Health and directly with our higher education institutions. Through their programmes and research activities, these institutions continue to make a significant and valuable contribution to the health of the people of Wales – as well as ensuring the sustainability of our NHS workforce. I very much value their contribution in delivering my vision for a Healthier Wales and look forward to continuing this collaborative approach’.
Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, Chair of the Council which represents UK university faculties engaged in education for nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, said:
‘We are delighted to be in Wales and to welcome the Health Minister to our Summit. As a UK-wide organisation we place great importance on our work with the devolved administrations and in developing strong relationships to ensure we can address both national and UK agendas’.
Professor Ceri J. Phillips, Chair of the Council of Deans of Health Wales, added:
‘The Health Minister has been a strong advocate for our universities, which provide top-class healthcare education, training and research. We look forward to continuing our regular engagement with him, Health Education and Improvement Wales and the Welsh Government to help deliver the future workforce’.
The Council’s Summit explored a diverse range of topics including leadership in higher education, research in pre-registration education, the implementation of future nurse and midwife standards, and the implications of Brexit. Delegates also heard from senior leaders from the Welsh healthcare sector during a panel discussion on current Welsh healthcare education policy.