First Minister's Questions - taking the pulse of the NHS in Wales

First Minister Carwyn Jones
First Minister's Questions Photo: ITV News Cymru Wales

First Minister's Questions this afternoon and the surgery was definitely open. For once all the party leaders stuck to the same subject. They all wanted to quiz Dr Jones about the health of Hywel Dda . Not surprisingly really, as there has been so much discussion about what would happen when the Health board came to the end of its consultation period. The answer came today and for some the proposals were tantamount to the service being downgraded.

No , it was not downgrading according to the First Minister. And the predictable argey bargey followed comparing what had been occurring in the NHS in England to what was happening in Wales. The FM pointed out that 17 hospitals had been found to be unsafe over the border, something which he would not allow to happen here in Wales. Did the leader of the Opposition want the Health Service to remain the same in Wales for ever and a day?

Next to ask after the patient was the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams.

She wanted to know how if a fifth of all acute beds in West Wales were cut according to proposals on the operating table, how would that work out for patients in West Wales?

And Plaid Leader , Leanne Wood was concerned about how patients would be able to travel long distances if their local service was removed and quoted a study by Sheffield University that claimed there was a link between distance travelled and risk in emergency situations