Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol/

Prif Weithredwr GIG Cymru

GrŵpIechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol


Director General Health and Social Services/

NHS Wales Chief Executive

Health and Social Services Group



Nick Ramsay AM


Public Accounts Committee                                                                                                                   

 7 June 2018


Dear Mr Ramsay


Information and Technical Standards


Further to my attendance at the Public Accounts Committee session on 14th May, I thought it would be helpful to write to provide the Committee with further information in relation to the development and publication of information and technical standards.


As part of the informatics governance structure, we have two Boards to oversee the setting of standards across NHS Wales:


Information Standards

We have a defined Information Standards Assurance Process which is overseen by the Welsh Information Standards Board (WISB). This process assures the development of new or changed national information standards and their implementation across NHS Wales, so as to maximise fitness for purpose, efficiency of data capture and information coherence. 


Following the development of a standard and approval by WISB, a Data Standards Change

Notice (DSCN) is produced which mandates the standard for implementation in NHS Wales.

Where applicable, an associated Analysis Methods Notice (AMN) and Clinical Coding Change Notice (CCCN) are also issued to NHS Wales to mandate the standards describing the agreed national analysis methodology and clinical coding standard respectively. These are published online at


For new information standards developed to support a Welsh Government policy requirement, a supporting Welsh Health Circular (WHC) is also issued. These are published at


Technical Standards

In February 2018 the NHS Wales Informatics Management Board agreed to the creation of a new Welsh Technical Standards Board (WTSB) in order to establish a catalogue of technical standards to enable greater integration and interoperability across health and care systems, and to support local innovation and the use of third party delivery partners.


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The new Board, chaired by Mark Wardle, Consultant Neurologist at Cardiff and Vale

University Health Board, will focus on technical principles and standards. Its remit includes:


-       Integration standards

-       Interoperability standards

-       Software development standards

-       Infrastructure standards

-       Cyber security standards


When a standard is agreed by the WTSB a Technical Standards Change Notice (TSCN) will be produced and a supporting Welsh Health Circular published by Welsh Government.


The Board, which is accountable to the National Informatics Management Board, held its inaugural meeting on 22 May 2018.


The Government Digital Service (GDS) is part of the Cabinet Office and was established to support digital transformation across UK Government Departments. GDS have developed both the GDS Design Principles and the Digital Service Standard:


-       GDS Design Principles -


-       Digital Service Standard -


In its first meeting, the WTSB discussed how the GDS Design Principles could be adopted for use across NHS Wales. The next meeting of the Board is on the 19th June when a decision on the adoption of the GDS Design Principles will be made. 


I hope this letter provides you with the information required.


Yours sincerely




Dr Andrew Goodall