In 2015, the Welsh Government created the Well-being of Future Generations Act. The aim of the act is to improve the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of Wales by tasking 44 Public Bodies, including Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change.
Wales is unique as we are the only nation in the world to have introduced such an act. The UN said, “What Wales is doing today, the World will do tomorrow.”
The act puts in place seven interconnected goals to ensure that every organisation involved is working towards the common goal of achieving a Wales that we all want and can be proud of.
The Act has placed a duty on us to define and deliver our own well-being objectives which will demonstrate our commitment to achieving the seven well-being goals above.
As a Health Board we responded to this with the creation of the Shaping our Future Wellbeing Strategy, born out of consultation with patients, the public, health staff and other partners.
The Seven Wellbeing Goals
To make sure we are all working towards the same purpose, the Well-being of Future Generations Act puts in place seven well-being goals. The Act makes it clear the listed public bodies must work to achieve all of the goals, not just one or two.
A Prosperous Wales
An innovative, productive, and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change), and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work.
A Resilient Wales
A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change).
A Healthier Wales
A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.
A More Equal Wales
A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio-economic circumstances).
A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Welsh Language
A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, sports and recreation.
A Wales of Cohesive Communities
Attractive, viable, sage and well-connected communities.
A Globally Responsible Wales
A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being.
The Five Ways of Working
On top of working towards our well-being objectives, the Act requires us to work “in accordance with the sustainable development principle”.
In other words, we need to make sure that our actions today fulfil present requirements without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
There are 5 sustainable ways of working which define this principle, and these are:
Our Well-being Objectives
For Our Population
• Reduce health inequalities
• Deliver outcomes that matter to people
• All take responsibility for improving our health and well-being.
Our Service Priorities
• Offer services that deliver the population health our citizens are entitled to expect.
• Have an unplanned (emergency) care system that provides the right care, in the right place, first time.
• Have a planned care system where demand and capacity are in balance.
• Reduce harm, waste and variation sustainably, making best use of the resources available to us.
• Be a great place to work and learn
• Work better together with partners to deliver care and support across care sectors, making best use of our people and technology.
• Excel at teaching, research, innovation, and improvement, and provide an environment where innovation thrives.
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Steering Group
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is already contributing to the goals of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
However, we realise that there is still much to do…
We’re asking everyone to think about how they might contribute to t to make sure that our services are sustainable, and are having a positive impact on peoples experience today and in the future.
The aim of the act is to enhance the potential to improve health and well-being in local areas; and working with other public bodies and cross-sector stakeholder organisations to strengthen the impact of the Act on health and well-being, including environmental sustainability
We are working to ensure that we;
We are taking a more joined-up approach in order to achieve the Wales we want.
Everyone within the Health Board can contribute to acting today for a better tomorrow in our actions, both in and out of work.
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss your ideas, projects, or get in touch, please contact Deborah Page – and Louise Knott –
Purpose of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Steering Group
Within the Health Board there is a Wellbeing of Future Generations Steering Group, the purpose of this group is to bring cohesion to the Health Board’s work in this area, ensuring that the organisation meets the statutory obligations of public bodies as outlined in Shared Purpose: Shared Future 2 (statutory guidance on the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015).
The Group will also provide strategic leadership and direction to the Wellbeing of Future Generations work.
Sustainability and sustainable development is most commonly described as, ‘development that meets the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987).
Why take action now?
There is incontrovertible evidence from the scientific community that climate change is taking place due to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The impact of climate change is visible already – extreme weather, rising sea levels, mass species loss and extinction – and is impacting on our daily lives.
Like many countries around the world, the Welsh Government has declared a climate emergency and has been taking action as a globally responsible Wales for many years.
In an emergency, we have to behave and act differently and swiftly. Therefore, if the Health Board is to meet and exceed the existing requirements, we need to take action urgently to accelerate reduction in our carbon impact, and take other action to embed sustainable development into everything that we do.
Cardiff & Vale University Health Board is an active entity continually improving. As a health board, we aim to exceed our responsibilities by delivering more than healthcare. We are always striving to be better. By continuing to make a difference not just for today, we hope to leave a lasting example for future generations to follow.
If you wish to contact the Sustainability Team, please email email@example.com