UNISON, the largest trade union at NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) has today welcomed the announcement by Welsh Government that it will become a Special Health Authority.
Darron Dupre, Regional Organiser for UNISON said
“Staff at NHS Wales Informatics Service (NWIS) will be pleased that at long last Welsh Government has both sorted out the governance arrangements within NWIS and also some much needed investment in NHS digital and informatics services in Wales.
“NWIS is, and has been, a highly performing organisation with an incredibly committed and skilled workforce. That workforce has had to listen to too many stories about NHS IT in Wales falling over, many of which were either the responsibility of Health Boards themselves or for which they have been deprived of the finances to put any more than a sticking plaster on.
“The award winning NWIS is not a failing organisation, and the complaints about its governance and scrutiny were a matter that only Welsh Government could deal with.
“Today’s announcement will hopefully ensure that NWIS, NHS Wales and Welsh Government can work together, in partnership and that NHS IT systems will at long last get the priority that they require”.
Notes for editors
To put the £50 million into context, while the finances announced today will help, the Wales Audit Office estimates that the NHS in Wales spends less than 2% of its income on IT and informatics, significantly less than the 4% recommended by Sir Derek Wanless.
NWIS core funding by Welsh Government has fallen by 22% in real terms since 2010/11.
The Public Accounts Committee (November 2018) estimated that an extra £484 million was required by NHS Wales to meet its digital vision of which £196 million was required by NWIS alone.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer 07816 53 83 97