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Cost is a vital component of the value-based healthcare equation and we need to know our costs across the whole system to understand the impact of our decisions on outcomes, and on overall performance.

The role of finance in delivering value-based healthcare goes far beyond just providing technical costing support and financial information for individual projects. In addition to a dedicated costing lead involved in any value project, it is vital that the wider finance community understands the role that it will need to play, if we are to successfully deliver value-based healthcare for Wales.

Everything within the system has a cost and by properly identifying those across a whole pathway, we can start to understand how resources are used, identify areas of variation, reduce waste and improve outcomes.

Healthcare expenditure continues to grow as a percentage of overall public spending in Wales and therefore is not without negative consequences on education, sport, leisure and other services – the very things that improve our health, prosperity and wellbeing. Choices will always need to be made about where to direct resources. A focus on outcomes and a collaborative approach across all disciplines allows us to do this better, and more equitably.