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Welsh Government calls for 'action' on NHS staff illness

The Welsh Government says it expects action from NHS Wales to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff, and manage sickness absence effectively.

The Welsh Government recognises the importance of improving the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and this includes managing sickness absence effectively to ensure staff are available to the meet the demands of the service.

The Health Minister expects NHS Wales to take action to ensure this happens.

The rate of sick absence has fallen over the last 12 months by some 6,000 staff days.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

NHS staff stress figures 'disturbing but not surprising'

Information obtained by Plaid Cymru has found that the number of nursing staff with stress sickness in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has risen by almost half over the last three years.

It also found in all but one health board that stress sickness among nurses was higher than the average among staff. The Royal College of Nursing in Wales says the figures are 'disturbing but not surprising'.

These statistics reflect what we are hearing from members on the frontline. It is quite clear that the NHS in Wales is under immense pressure.

Given that nurses make up the biggest number of front line staff, these figures are disturbing but not surprising.

– Tina Donelly, Director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales

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Over £170m paid in compensation to NHS patients

Over £170m of taxpayer money has been handed out in compensation because of medical negligence by Welsh Hospitals.

The figure for the last three years comes from research from the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Rob Shelley has been to meet a father who's had to fight for compensation to cover the huge costs of 24 hour care.

Welsh Govt: Health board needs to learn from mistakes

The Welsh Government says that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board must to learn from these mistakes to prevent them from happening again.

It's following the revelation that more than £28m has been paid out to patients due to 'clinical negligence' since 2011.

On those relatively rare occasions when mistakes are made in the NHS and people are harmed as a result of poor care, individuals are able to seek redress. It is important the health service learns from these mistakes.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Health board pays out £28m for 'clinical negligence'

Over £28 million has been handed out by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to patients and their relatives due to 'clinical negligence' since 2011.

It has also been revealed that since 2011-12, the NHS in Wales has paid out over £171 million. The health board says the number of claims made against the health service has recently increased.

The Health Board has seen an increase in the number of claims made against the health service which is in line with national trends.

We are working very hard to further reduce such rises in expenditure, by ensuring that lessons are promptly learnt from civil claims and clinical practices are changed and improved.

In relation to the level of monies paid out, this is dependent upon the type of claim settled.

– Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board spokesperson

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Changes will lead to 'improved standards of care'

This is an important day – and an important judgement – for service reconfiguration in Wales. Health services need to evolve and modernise to meet the changing needs of the population and take full advantage of the benefits of new technology and advances in clinical skills.

“The court found all aspects of the procedures adopted by both the health board and the Health Minister to be fair and lawful. “The Health Minister is very pleased that this matter is now settled and the people living in the Hywel Dda area can look forward to improved standards of care in the future.”

– A Welsh Government spokesperson

Judge dismisses NHS changes challenge

Campaigners in west Wales have lost three judicial reviews into the legality of the downgrading of A&E services at the Prince Phillip Hospital in Llanelli.

Protests have been held this year against the decision to downgrade A&E services at the Llanelli hospital

Campaigners called on the High Court in Cardiff to look** **at how the decision was made by Hywel Dda Health Board,

They also questioned the decision to close the neonatal unit at Withybush Hospital in Pembrokeshire which led to protests.

Local people were concerned that premature babies would have to leave the county and travel to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen.

Campaigner Tony Flatley said today they were disappointed with the court's decision but would take advice from their legal team and appeal if they could.

Separate Welsh contracts 'no longer viable'

Negotiating pay for consultants separately in Wales is 'no longer viable', according to the health minister.

Following an announcement that the Welsh NHS is to pay all staff the living wage, Mark Drakeford said:

“In the absence of meaningful negotiations with BMA Wales, I feel I have no option but to conclude that it is no longer viable to maintain a separate Welsh contract.

“We will seek formally to join the England and Northern Ireland negotiations with a view to implementing this contract in the future, which ensures consultants in Wales have the same opportunities as their colleagues in other parts of the UK.”

The Welsh NHS Confederation says it regrets that there have been no meaningful discussions on the matter:

Richard Tompkins, Director, NHS Wales Employers, said:

“We very much regret that it has not been possible to negotiate on the paybill for medical staff in Wales.

“We now want to work with colleagues in Welsh Government and BMA Cymru to ensure that moving to a UK contract delivers parity for doctors across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, fairly rewards continued excellence and reflects the needs of future service delivery.”

NHS Wales to become 'living wage' employer

The living wage will come into force from September

Around 2,400 of the lowest paid employees in the NHS in Wales will receive an increase in their basic salary as the organisation becomes a living wage employer.

The health minister announced today that all staff will be paid at least the living wage of £7.65 an hour – more than the minimum wage rate of £6.31 an hour.

The change which will come into force from September.

The Living Wage Commission has called for all public sector workers to be paid a living wage of at least £7.65 per hour.

Professor Drakeford said:

"This sends a clear signal that the Welsh Government is committed to tackling poverty and that NHS Wales is a fair, equitable employer.

“I have also decided the fairest option that will benefit the majority of workers is to award all Agenda for Change staff a flat cash payment of £160 and to protect the ability for those not at the top of their pay bands to move up to the next increment when it becomes due.

"This will mean that more than nine out of 10 NHS staff will receive a pay award in 2014-15."

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