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National Service Frameworks for Wales

What are National Service Frameworks (NSF)?

As outlined in the NHS Wales White Paper "Quality Care and Clinical Excellence", National Service Frameworks provide a systematic approach on which to tackle the agenda of improving standards and quality across health care sectors. NSFs are implemented in partnership with social care and other organisations.

  • set national standards and define service models for a service or care group;
  • put in place programmes to support implementation;
  • establish performance measures against which progress within agreed timescales would be measured.

Why were NSFs introduced?

NSFs were introduced to address variations in standards of care and to achieve greater consistency in the availability and quality of services by putting in place mechanisms which would enable best care to be provided to all.

What is being done?

In February 2001 the Welsh Assembly Government published its plan for the NHS in Wales. The plan entitled "Improving Health in Wales-A plan for the NHS with its partners" sets the direction for health services in Wales over the next ten years.

In August 2004, revised guidance for the development of National Service Frameworks in Wales was published. The intention of this document was for that NSFs should provide a systematic approach on which to tackle the agenda of improving standards and quality across healthcare settings. Further details regarding the guidance can be viewed by clicking on the National Service Frameworks tab on the left hand side of this page.

Why was the Health and Challenges Task and Finish Group set up?

The Health & Challenges Task & Finish group was one of ten T&F Groups set up to examine issues and identify key areas of work to achieve the aims set out in the plan. The Health Challenges T&F Group was set up to develop proposals for a coherent management process in order to:

  • Develop and monitor clinical governance in Wales;
  • Ensure the incremental but determined means of implementing and monitoring of NSF's in Wales;
  • Deliver and monitor the minimum standards of cancer care;
  • Commission a review of all child health policies and plans.
What is the role of NSF subgroups?

An NSF subgroup was set up by the Health Challenges Task & Finish Group to look at the development and production of NSFs in Wales. Its remit was to advise on the:
  • Production and development of NSFs;
  • Implementation issues.
The group also considered the issue of a programme approach to NSFs.

Last updated: 03/12/2004