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NHS workers' unions welcome pay settlement

Unions representing NHS workers in Wales have welcomed the end of a pay dispute with the Welsh Government over pay, and the agreement to a new Wales-only deal.

The Royal College of Midwives described it "a fair pay offer", while UNISON said: "this agreement does not make up for the real term loss that NHS workers have suffered in recent years, but we hope we can build on this settlement in the future."

It has taken time to get to this point and the Welsh Government has taken a sensible and practical decision to end this pay dispute.

This is a good example of how unions and the Government through meaningful negotiation can produce the right result for the staff and, the right result for the people they care for.

We have fought for and delivered a fair pay offer for our members in Wales. We can now move forward and put our energy into working together to improve maternity services in Wales.

– Helen Rogers, Director for Wales at the Royal College of Midwives

Taking strike action is always a last resort for our members. The settlement is an improvement on the previous offer and we welcome achieving the Living Wage for our lowest paid members.

This has been a difficult process for all involved, particularly given the challenging financial climate that we are in as a result of the UK Government's continued austerity programme.

Clearly this agreement does not make up for the real term loss that NHS workers have suffered in recent years, but we hope we can build on this settlement in the future.

– Dawn Bowden, UNISON Wales head of health

Welsh Health Minister hails 'made-in-Wales' settlement

Wales' Health Minister has hailed the "made-in-Wales pay deal" over NHS workers' pay, which has meant strike action was avoided.

Some NHS staff in England and Northern Ireland will stage a second set of four-hour walkouts this coming Monday.

This two-year, made-in-Wales pay deal demonstrates our ongoing commitment to staff working in the NHS in these challenging financial times.

Our overriding priority has been – and continues to be – to maintain jobs at the frontline of NHS Wales against a backdrop of severe cuts to our budget.

This is an excellent example of working collaboratively and co-production and I am pleased that in Wales we have been able to avoid significant strike action by agreeing a mutual position – this is a credit to all parties.

– Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Health Minister

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NHS workers agree first Wales-only pay deal

Union leaders representing NHS workers in Wales have settled their pay dispute with the Welsh Government, by accepting a new two-year deal.

It is the first Wales-only pay deal for NHS staff, on negotiations that have been traditionally UK-wide, but some have questioned whether this will open the floodgates to other regional pay settlements.

Pay deals for NHS workers have previously been set at a UK level. Credit: PA

Included in the deal is a 1 per cent pay rise from next April, a cash payment of £187, and the living wage implemented for all directly-employed staff from 1 January 2015.

The pay settlement does not include doctors and dentists.

Members of the Unison union called off a planned strike earlier this month, after the Welsh Government improved its offer.

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Worm-infected kidneys could not have been 'forseen'

The inquest into the deaths of two transplant patients has heard that the viruses and conditions the donor and his organ had been tested for included hepatitis, HIV, dengue fever and herpes - all of which proved negative.

UHW consultant surgeon Argiris Asderakis said pre-operation checks on the donor kidneys and the recipients gave him no cause for concern.

When Mr Asderakis was asked whether he or other doctors would have been expected to check for halcephalobus - a parasitic worm-, he replied:

"No, not at all. I had never even heard of it before.

"Nobody could have predicted what ended up being the first human to human transmission of this bug.

"Could I have foreseen it? No.

"I know this is no consolation to the families."

He also insisted that, given what he knew at the time, he considered the organs to be of "low risk".

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Transplant patient 'aware of donor's meningitis'

A surgeon has told an inquest that one of two patients who died after receiving a kidney transplant was aware of the donor's suspected viral meningitis.

Robert Stuart, known as Jim to his family, was advised of possible kidney dysfunction, Argiris Asderakis told the hearing at Cardiff Coroner's Court

The 67-year-old, from Cardiff and 42-year-old Darren Hughes, 42, of Bridgend, both died after receiving a kidney from the same donor at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff in December 2013.

The inquest has heard that doctors knew the donor had died from meningitis before accepting the organs.

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Surgeon accepted donor's kidneys despite meningitis

A surgeon has explained to an inquest why he was content to receive kidneys for two men from an alcoholic donor who had died from meningitis.

Argiris Asderakis, Consultant Transplant Surgeon at University Hospital of South Wales, told the hearing he was initially told the donor died from meningoencephalitis - a medical condition that resembles meningitis and brain infection encephalitis.

Giving evidence at Cardiff Coroner's Court, Asderakis said he believed that the threat of a virus in the organs, which had been rejected by several hospitals, was "most likely" covered by the treatment the donor had been receiving.

Robert Stuart, 67, from Cardiff, and Darren Hughes, 42, of Bridgend, both died after being given kidneys from an alcoholic donor infected with the deadly parasitic worm halcephalobus.

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Inquest resumes into kidney transplant patient deaths

An inquest has resumed into the case of two transplant patients who died after receiving kidneys that turned out to carry a deadly parasitic worm from the same alcoholic donor that other hospitals turned down.

Cardiff Coroner's Court heard the organs implanted in Darren Hughes and Robert 'Jim' Stuart had been rejected by several other hospitals before they were eventually used at the University Hospital of South Wales.

The court has been told post-mortem tests were not carried out on the 39-year-old organ donor - who doctors said had died from a suspected viral infection.

ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports from the second day of the hearing.

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Inquest resumes over kidney transplant patient deaths

An inquest is set to continue later after earlier hearing that two transplant patients died after receiving kidneys from the same alcoholic donor other hospitals turned down.

Inquest resumes over kidney transplant patient deaths. Credit: ITV News

Robert Stuart, 67, from Cardiff, and Darren Hughes, 42, from Bridgend, underwent transplants at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, last year.

The pair died days apart and lab tests later showed they had been infected with the deadly parasitic worm halcephalobus, which a pathologist believes came from their organ donor.

Cardiff Coroner's Court was told a post-mortem had not been carried out on the 39-year-old organ donor from Manchester - who doctors said had died from a suspected viral infection.

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