NHS Wales

NHS Wales (Welsh: GIG Cymru) is the publicly funded healthcare system in Wales, and one of the four systems which make up the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

NHS Wales
GIG Cymru
Agency overview
Formed1969 (1969)
HeadquartersCathays Park, Cardiff, Wales
Employees85,145 (September 2020)[1]
Annual budget£8.3bn GBP
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • Dr. Andrew Goodall, Director General for Health and Social Services and Chief Executive of NHS Wales
  • Simon Dean, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Wales
Parent agencyWelsh Government
Child agency

NHS Wales was formed as part of the public health system for England and Wales created by the National Health Service Act 1946, with powers over the NHS in Wales coming under the Secretary of State for Wales in 1969. That year, the latter took over much of the responsibility for health services in Wales, being supported in this by the Welsh Office, which had been established in 1964.[2]

Following the pre-legislative Welsh devolution referendum of 18 September 1997, Royal Assent was given on 31 July to the Government of Wales Act 1998. This created the National Assembly for Wales, to which overall responsibility for NHS Wales was devolved in 1999. Responsibility, therefore, for NHS Wales was passed to the Welsh Government under devolution in 1999 and has since then been the responsibility of the Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services.[3]

NHS Wales provides emergency services and a range of primary, secondary, and specialist tertiary care services. District General Hospitals provide outpatient, inpatient, and accident and emergency services, and there is a network of community hospitals run by GPs. Specialist hospitals provide services such as burns units and plastic and cardiac surgery. NHS Wales also funds GP services, dental services, pharmacies, and sexual health services. Community services are also provided, including district nurses, health visitors, midwives, community-based speech therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.[4]