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The Auditor General is the statutory external auditor of most of the Welsh public sector.
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Our accounts are audited by an independent firm appointed by the Welsh Parliament.
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The Auditor General is responsible for auditing most of the public money spent in Wales.
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NHS bodies in Wales have largely maintained good governance throughout the crisis, with revised arrangements enabling them to govern in a lean, agile, and rigorous manner
This report focuses on how NHS bodies in Wales have governed during the COVID-19 crisis. During the crisis, all NHS bodies have had to plan differently, operate differently, manage their resources differently, and govern differently to deal with the unprecedented challenges and pressures presented by the pandemic.
This report is the first of two publications which provides an all-Wales summary of the Auditor General’s 2020 structured assessment work at NHS bodies. They highlight key themes, identify future opportunities, and share learning.
In this report we comment on how NHS bodies adjusted their governance arrangements to cope with the unprecedented challenges presented by the pandemic. We found that all NHS bodies operated effectively with a sense of urgency and a common purpose to adopt lean and agile ways of working and achieve rapid transformation whilst also maintaining a clear focus on core areas of business and governance.
By adopting lean and agile ways of working, NHS bodies have been able to:
As NHS bodies move towards the full recovery phase and enter a post-pandemic world, they should seek to reflect on their experiences of governing during the crisis.
In terms of governance specifically, our report highlights several opportunities for the future:
In times of crisis, the challenge for all public bodies is to adapt their governance systems, processes, and structures to ensure good governance is maintained. Indeed, it could be argued that maintaining good governance is more necessary than ever during a time of crisis.
I have been assured that NHS bodies have largely maintained good governance throughout the crisis, with revised arrangements enabling them to govern in a lean, agile, and rigorous manner.
The challenge now for each individual body is to fully evaluate their new ways of working, consider the opportunities outlined in this report, and maintain the sense of urgency and common purpose created during the crisis to establish and embed new approaches to governance in a post-pandemic world.