Additional Resources

Public Accountability

ScrutinyAs a publically funded service NHS Wales is subject to close scrutiny in all that it does to deliver health care services. NHS Wales is directly accountable to the general public.

Making suggestions and complaints

Do you have suggestions about how we can provide a better service? Your suggestions, compliments or complaints will help us to improve the services we offer. Please download our leaflet Putting Things Right for more information.

Each year an Annual Operating Framework is agreed with Government and this sets out the direction of travel for NHS Wales in the forthcoming twelve months.
It identifies the priorities that the Minister has set and the level of improvements that are required. The Framework also sets out how the NHS will report its performance against these requirements to the Welsh Assembly Government and how that performance will be assessed.

The NHS Wales Governance e-Manual  is designed to assist NHS organisations in Wales develop robust governance and assurance arrangements that meet the standards of good governance set for all public services in Wales. For the NHS in Wales, governance is defined as:

"A system of accountability to citizens, service users, stakeholders and the wider community, within which healthcare organisations work, take decisions and lead their people to achieve their objectives."

The Welsh Assembly Government encourages all NHS organisations to involve patients and the public in decisions about delivery and development of health care and Community Health Councils (CHCs) have been empowered to monitor how it is being done and, if necessary, to help.  CHCs are statutory lay organisations with rights to information about, access to, and consultation with all NHS organisations. 
If you are looking for particular information about the NHS and its organisations, or for free help or advice about a problem you have encountered with the NHS, then please contact your  local Community Health Council. 

Patient Experience is the Welsh Assembly's website for people working on Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in the NHS in Wales. It provides access to information about PPI in Wales and the rest of the UK and advice to all NHS bodies in Wales about how to develop public and patient involvement.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)

The purpose of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is to promote continuous improvement in the quality and safety of patient care within NHS Wales. HIW undertakes inspections of and investigations into the provision of health care by and for Welsh NHS bodies. It is the independent inspectorate and regulator of all healthcare in Wales and monitors Welsh NHS bodies in their performance against the Healthcare Standards for Wales.

Healthcare Standards for Wales, 2005 set out the Welsh Assembly Government's common framework of healthcare standards to support the NHS and partner organisations in providing effective, timely and quality services across all healthcare settings.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales also regulates the Independent Healthcare Sector in Wales in line with the requirements of the Care Standards Act 2000 and the Private and Voluntary Healthcare Regulations 2002.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales looks into complaints made by or on behalf of people who have suffered because of unsatisfactory treatment or service by the National Health Service (NHS). The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales is completely independent of the NHS and the government. The services of the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales are free.

For further information please visit:

The Wales Concordat

The Concordat Between Bodies Inspecting, Regulating and Auditing Health and Social Care in Wales is a voluntary agreement that was signed in May 2005. Signatories to the Concordat have agreed to work together to eliminate unnecessary burdens of external review, and to deliver more targeted and co-ordinated inspection that is proportionate to the level of risk and supports the improvement of services for patients, service users and their carers.

The Wales Audit Office

One of the signatory organisations to the Wales Concordat is the Wales Audit Office who audit the accounts prepared by Local Health Boards and NHS trusts. In addition they run a programme of local and national value for money studies.