Health and Social Care Committee Strategy - December 2021

The Health and Social Care Committee has been set up by the Senedd to look at policy and legislation, and to hold the Welsh Government to account on specific issues.

This page sets out our strategic approach to our work in the Sixth Senedd.

We will keep this strategy under review.

Our Vision

Our vision for health and social care

Our vision for health and social care over the next five years is a post-COVID reset that results in:

All people in Wales living longer and healthier lives. 

A health and social care system that is working more effectively than it was before the pandemic. 

People who use health and care systems knowing which services to access to meet their needs, and having a more positive experience.

Achieving this vision will require:

  • Better integration between health and social care. 
  • Progress in reforming social care, including greater sustainability of social care services. 
  • Increased levels of health literacy and signposting between services. 
  • Improved access to mental health services, especially for young people and people with the most acute needs. 
  • Progress in addressing workforce shortages across health and social care, including the development of the primary care workforce and services so that people are able to access appropriate expertise close to home. 
  • Higher morale across the health and social care workforce. 
  • Improved self-management and self-care of chronic conditions. 
  • Improved standards and practice in relation to women’s health. 


"The strategy sets out our ambitious vision for health and social care over the next five years, and how we will work together as a Committee."

"Our strategy will guide and shape our work, but it will not constrain our ability to be flexible or responsive to emerging issues."

— Russell George MS, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee


Our Role

Our role as the Health and Social Care Committee

Our role is to drive change through influencing the Welsh Government and the health and social care sector.

We will do this by: 

  1. Maintaining a sense of cross-party common purpose towards our shared vision, while recognising and respecting that Members will have different political perspectives. 
  2. Keeping a priority issue or issues on the Government’s agenda, or pushing an issue or issues up the agenda, through inquiries, general scrutiny, informal discussions with the Minister, seeking briefings from the Welsh Government, correspondence, monitoring the implementation of recommendations, Members’ own questions or contributions in Plenary etc. 
  3. Identifying barriers to implementation or change, and how such barriers might be addressed, and following up work to see whether the barriers have been addressed. This might also include more systematically scrutinising Welsh Government responses, and following up where responses are not sufficiently clear, robust or comprehensive. 
  4. Planning work in sufficient time to provide clarity for stakeholders, enable relationships to be built with people whose voices might not otherwise be heard, and to make best use of resources and time, while also retaining sufficient flexibility and capacity to enable us to respond to emerging or topical issues. 
  5. Putting aside time periodically to reflect on progress made towards the overarching vision, what contribution we have made, and what further actions we could take to drive progress.



Cross-cutting issues

The following themes will run through all of our work:

Putting people at the heart of health and social care 

For example, who is affected by policies or decisions; different impacts on different groups or communities; how people are communicated with, engaged, consulted or involved. 

Innovating for improvement 

For example, alignment with the Welsh Government’s transformation agenda; innovation in processes, technology, equipment, training and attitudes; barriers; evidence-basis; evaluation, sharing and rollout; funding; risk appetite and the balance of safety and innovation; accountability and drive; agility; the alignment of aspiration and implementation. 

The health and social care workforce 

For example, capacity; training and retraining; embedding innovation in workforce planning and development; staff morale and wellbeing. 

Health inequalities and inequities 

For example, the differences in health outcomes and access to services across different groups, communities, socioeconomic groups or geographic areas.. 

Delivering a post-pandemic reset

For example, considering how things were before the pandemic, how they were affected by the pandemic, and what we want the situation to be. 


Priority issues

We have identified the following priority issues. We will keep these lists under review.

Year one of the Sixth Senedd (2021 - 22)

  • COVID: watching brief on the pandemic, and post-COVID reset.
  • Health and social care workforce, including training; recruitment; retention; needs; training places; culture of innovation and improvement; and senior leadership (for example through pre-appointment hearings or scrutiny sessions.
  • Impact of the waiting times
  • Patient flow through hospitals, with an initial focus on hospital discharge.
  • Mental health.
  • Winter planning for health and social care.
  • Scrutiny of the Welsh Government’s draft budget 2022-23.

Potential priorities for years two to five of the Sixth Senedd (2022 - 26)

  • Primary care, including widening understanding of the range of services, signposting, unconscious bias, and health literacy.
  • The promotion of healthy lifestyles and prevention.
  • Women’s health.
  • Rehabilitation services.
  • Access to services for long-term chronic conditions.
  • Tackling health inequalities.
  • Social care integration and funding.
  • Support and services for unpaid carers.
  • The pandemic and post-COVID reset.

Our approach

How we will work

We have agreed that we will:

  • Build relationships to facilitate constructive collaboration and influence.
  • Listen to lived experience, including undertaking visits once the public health situation allows.
  • Be alert to our meetings and flexible in our meeting times.
  • Hold hybrid meetings by default.


Want to know more?

Get your copy of the Health and Social Care Committee strategy for the Sixth Senedd.

Download summary


Interim review

In February 2023 we conducted an interim review of our strategy for the Sixth Senedd. We published the outcomes of the review, including four key conclusions, in June 2023.

Download interim review

Health and Social Care Committee

The Health and Social Care Committee has been set up by the Senedd to look at policy and legislation, and to hold the Welsh Government to account on specific issues.

This includes the physical, mental and public health and well-being of the people of Wales, including the social care system.