NHS Direct Wales

NHS Wales - About Us


NHS Wales is the publically funded National Health Service of Wales providing healthcare to some 3 million people who live in the country. The NHS has a key principle which is that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth.
If you are looking for information from a patient's perspective then NHS Direct Wales is a health advice and information service available 24 hours a day, every day.
Health in Wales is the website of National Health Service (NHS) Wales, and brings together information sources about health services and the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales.

NHS Wales provides services ranging from smoking cessation, antenatal screening, and routine treatments for coughs and colds to open heart surgery, accident and emergency treatment and end-of-life care.

Setting health policy for the NHS in Wales and the funding for health services is the responsibility of the Welsh Government.
More information on the system can be found on the Welsh Government's web page below:

Health Policy

Together for Health is the Welsh Government's five year vision for the NHS.

It is based around community services with patients at the centre, and places prevention, quality and transparency at the heart of healthcare.
The Together for Health document also outlines the challenges facing the health service and the actions necessary to ensure it is capable of world-class performance.

You can find more information on health policy in our Strategies page:

Department of Health and Social Services Organisation and Reporting

The Welsh Government's Departments are headed by senior civil servants. The Director General for Health and Social Services is David Sissling who is also Chief Executive of NHS Wales. As Chief Executive, NHS Wales, he is accountable to the Minister for Health and Social Services, and is responsible for providing her with policy advice and exercising strategic leadership and management of the NHS.
The Chief Medical Officer holds the appointment of Director of the Department for Public Health and Health Professions. 
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer (OCMO) leads on policy and programmes for the protection and improvement of people's health and for the reduction in inequalities in health. It also provides professional and medical advice to Ministers, the Health & Social Care Department and other parts of the Welsh Government. 


The National Health Service Wales

NHS Wales is one service made up of a number of organisations.
The NHS Wales Directory of Services provides contact details for all NHS Wales organisations, groups and individuals:


The NHS in Wales employs close to 72,000 staff which makes it Wales’ biggest employer. The NHS is a labour intensive service and its pay bill accounts for at least 75% of its total annual cost.

NHS Staff are drawn from many professions and occupational groups and work in variety of settings across Wales. In addition to staff employed directly by the NHS there are contractor professions including dentists, opticians, pharmacists and nearly 2,000 General Practitioners (GPs) who predominantly work in primary care settings.
Statistics on NHS Wales staffing are available from the Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Government.

NHS Employers represents trusts on workforce issues and helps employers to ensure the NHS is a place where people want to work. NHS Employers is part of the NHS Confederation. 

The Welsh NHS Confederation is an independent membership body for the full range of organisations that make up today’s NHS in Wales.