Consultation response




22 April 2024

Health impact assessment regulations

Health Impact Assessment Regulations

We welcomed the consultation as the next step in ensuring that health is embedded across all policies and Welsh government’s commitment to tackling the wider determinants of health and health inequalities.

The NHS alone does not have all the levers to reduce inequalities. We need an effective cross-government and multi-agency approach to tackling health inequalities and addressing factors such as poor housing, transport, and food quality. It is essential that HIAs drive collaboration and that public bodies are held accountable for the actions that they take.

We believe that HIAs could drive significant change in policy and practice across public bodies, and foster collaboration, integration, and long-term thinking. However, we urged Welsh Government to consider in more detail how the implementation of HIAs drives positive and tangible change in practice.

We encouraged Welsh Government to consider how the role of the Wales Health Impact Assessment Support Unit (WHIASU) could be strengthened to promote good practice, shared learning, and collaboration, and how WHIASU can be resourced appropriately for the extra workload.

These regulations represent one part of a broader policy and regulatory environment. They sit alongside the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, the Equality Act’s socio-economic duty, regional partnership boards and public service boards. This is a complex landscape with significant breadth beyond the public sector. In order to ensure impact, we encouraged Welsh Government to take further steps to ensure HIAs are widely communicated and understood by all relevant bodies. We also encouraged Welsh government to explore further how other bodies could be encouraged to undertake HIAs.