A qualitative study of clinician and public views of, and engagement in, Prudent Healthcare.

Principal / Lead investigator
Co-investigators / research team
Type of study

Face to face semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus groups.


The NHS in Wales has been asked to engage with the concept of Prudent Healthcare through four key principles which were finalised in February 2015 (Welsh Government, 2015). These principles require that any service or individual providing a service should:

  • achieve health and wellbeing with the public, patients and professionals as equal partners through co-production.
  • care for those with the greatest health need first, making the most effective use of all skills and resources.
  • do only what is needed, no more, no less; and do no harm.
  • reduce inappropriate variation using evidence based practices consistently and transparently.

Although there has been considerable energy invested in encouraging and supporting primary and secondary care services within Wales to formally adopt the principles of Prudent Healthcare, there has yet to be an assessment of public and clinician understanding, attitudes, and experiences of Prudent Healthcare. Indeed, it is possible that there are misconceptions of what Prudent Healthcare is, that some may be sceptical of its purpose, and that some of the ideas enshrined within Prudent Healthcare will be controversial to some clinicians and some members of the public. For example it is likely that some clinicians and members of the public may equate ‘Prudence’ as cost-cutting rather than achieving best value for money and for the long term. Consequently, an evaluation of public and clinician understanding, attitudes, and experiences is required as a basis for future interventions to help members of the public and clinicians to understand, support, adopt, and achieve the principles of Prudent Healthcare. 

Lay involvement

Participants will be recruited via community groups with which they are engaged but also through the NHS. Community group leaders and clinicians involved in the care of patients will provide potential participants with information prior to the interview. Informed consent will be obtained at the point when data are collected and participants will be free to withdraw at any time.

Who is the study sponsor?

Cardiff University


Health and Care Research Wales

Total grant value


Start date


End date


How could this research potentially benefit patients?

Research findings will be disseminated to Welsh Government and the NHS in Wales with the expectation that it will have immediate benefits. Community organisations will also be informed of the findings through briefings, community events and public networks. We will use the findings to provide advice to the Welsh Government on how they can better communicate the purpose and need for Prudent Healthcare to clinicians, patients, carers (including patient and carer groups) and members of the public across Wales.

Further information

Presentation: A qualitative study of clinician and public views of, and engagement in, Prudent Healthcare.

Outputs generated (Reports / Publications / Impact)

Details to follow