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Plaid publishes plan 'to save and strengthen' NHS

The party wants to recruit a thousand extra doctors Credit: ITV News

Plaid Cymru will set out pledges today which it says amount to a plan to 'save and strengthen the NHS.' The party is due to unveil its promises later at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth. The four main pledges are:

  • Recruit a thousand extra doctors, improve access to GPs and cut waiting times.
  • Fully integrate Health and Social Care services
  • Increasing the capacity of the ambulance service, nursing and paramedic staff.
  • Oppose the TTIP EU trade deal that Plaid Cymru claims could lead to the privatisation of the NHS.

Plaid's Public Services spokesperson Hywel Williams MP said the plan sets out the steps needed 'to build a world-class healthcare system.'

Plaid Cymru has plans to recruit a thousand extra doctors to the NHS, to fully integrate Health and Social Care services, and to invest in more ambulances, nurses and paramedics. We will oppose the damaging EU trade agreement that could lead to the privatisation of the NHS.

Our plans will increase capacity, bring down waiting times, and improve patients flow through hospital and beyond. The Party of Wales will save and strengthen the services that we all depend on, and restore the reputation of the NHS in Wales.

– Hywel Williams MP, Plaid Cymru

And the party's health spokesperson Elin Jones said:

At present we have a system that is under severe pressure because of poor management and ineffective planning. Patients are being let down and doctors and nurses are being put under incredible pressure because of the UK Coalition Government’s cuts and Labour Welsh Government’s mismanagement. Plaid Cymru has the ideas to change that.

– Elin Jones AM, Plaid Cymru

Labour promises mansion tax boost for Welsh NHS

The party says it will raise the money from imposing a tax on properties worth more than £2 million Credit: PA

Labour is promising to train a thousand more NHS workers in Wales using money raised through a 'mansion tax' it would introduce if it forms the next UK Government. The party says it expects to raise £1.2 billion from imposing a tax on properties worth more than £2 million. Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith will launch the pledge later.

Training more frontline staff will be a huge boost for health services across Wales, but most importantly, will help relieve pressure in those areas that have seen demand for services hit record levels.

We are able to make this commitment thanks to a tax on some of the wealthiest people in the UK. A proper redistributive tax that takes money from those with the most, to invest in something that we all use and love - our NHS.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary

First Minister Carwyn Jones is welcoming the pledge.

This is a serious commitment to our NHS in Wales, only possible with the election of a Labour Government in May. We know that people in Wales cherish their NHS, and want to see a safe, modern and sustainable service guaranteed for the future. We need more trained healthcare professionals to make that happen.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

The announcement follows an earlier pledge by Ed Miliband to spend the proceeds of any money raised through the tax along with a tobacco levy and a clamp down on tax avoidance on health in Wales.

But there's been criticism of the proposed tax by senior Labour figures Diane Abbot and Lord Mandelson who described it as 'crude.' It's also been revealed thatonly 87 properties in Wales would be affected by the mansion tax, prompting the Welsh Conservatives to describe it as 'an ill-thought out wealth tax which simply won't work.'

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Poll shows concerns about Welsh NHS

Just over half the people questioned in an ITV Cymru Wales poll are confident that the Welsh NHS will give them a high standard of healthcare when they need it. The gap between those who are confident and those who are not is now just 10%

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

The poll result suggests that a year of bad headlines has shaken confidence in the service. A similar poll in October 2013 found 72% confidence in the Welsh NHS. Satisfaction with the treatment people have actually received remains high, at 72%, though that's down from 82% in the previous poll.

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

The Welsh Health Minister has welcomed the overall result as a sign of continuing support for the NHS and the way that it's run in Wales.

This poll shows once again how people across Wales value and respect the approach we have taken in respect of the NHS, which does a remarkable job in providing excellent standards of care, free at the point of need for all people in Wales. Research continually shows people across Wales have confidence in their NHS.

– Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM

The latest poll was also conducted in England, where there were higher levels of confidence in the NHS and satisfaction with the treatment that people had received.

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-20, Sample: 1,344
Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-20, Sample: 1,344

Flu outbreak closes critical ward at Morriston Hospital

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has closed a ward at Morriston Hospital in Swansea after a flu outbreak.

The Cyril Evans cardiothoracic surgery ward has one confirmed case of flu and 3 other cases of symptoms.

Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

The health board says the ward cares for "vulnerable" patients who have had heart and lung surgery.

It is urging 'at-risk' patients and staff to get their flu jab.

Non-routine surgery has been postponed.

The board says it aims to reopen the ward and resume non-urgent surgery "as soon as possible".

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