Ann Clwyd gives evidence to Assembly health committee
Labour MP Ann Clywd has given evidence to the Assembly health committee about the treatment of patients in Welsh hospitals. Previous invitations from opposition AMs were blocked by Labour, but the decision was reversed.
Ann Clwyd says there is a fear of speaking out when things go wrong in the Welsh NHS.
Speaking to an Assembly Committee, the Cynon Valley MP who reviewed the complaints system for the English NHS, says staff, patients and their families should feel free to complain without the fear of consequences.
The decision to invite Ann Clwyd MP to give evidence to the Assembly health committee has been welcomed by the Shadow Health Minister. The move had previously been blocked by Labour AMs although Ms Clwyd is Labour MP for the Cynon Valley.
Inviting Ann Clwyd to give evidence to this committee is a victory for common sense. Ann’s extensive work into standards of care within the Welsh NHS is significant and her views and conclusions must be treated with the utmost respect.
Previous attempts – by Labour - to block her evidence were hugely unwelcome. I sincerely hope that Ann will accept this invitation and look forward to hearing her evidence.
– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM
The decision was taken at a private meeting of the health committee this morning. Plaid Cymru's health spokesperson, Elin Jones, made her third attempt to get the committee to agree to the invitation.
ITV News understands that on this occasion she warned that if there was no agreement she would take the issue to a full session of the Assembly, forcing a debate and a vote on instructing the committee to issue the invitation.
I’m pleased that Ann Clwyd will now be invited to give evidence to the Health Committee. Ann Clwyd has received valuable evidence about standards of care from many Welsh patients, including some from my own constituency, and it is right that she be invited in front of the committee to share these findings.
The views that have been collated by her could be extremely beneficial to our work in scrutinising the Welsh Government’s management of the NHS in Wales, and would give us important information from a patient’s perspective. I am glad that the Assembly Health Committee will hear these important contributions.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed today's decision to ask Ann Clwyd to give evidence to the Assembly health committee. Two previous attempts to invite her had been blocked by Labour AMs.
The Cynon Valley MP received hundreds of letters about poor treatment in Welsh hospitals during her review of conditions in the English NHS.
She was invited to carry out the review in England after she complained about how her late husband was treated before his death at the University Hospital in Cardiff.
It is absolutely right that Ann Clwyd MP is to be invited to give evidence to the Assembly’s Health Committee. While she may have conducted a review into the English NHS, she still received a large amount of information from Welsh patients.
It’s astonishing that Labour members continuously tried to block Ann Clwyd from giving evidence. The fact that she is an MP is completely irrelevant. The truth is they are afraid they won’t like what she has to say. Ann’s voice deserves to be heard
– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM
Plaid Cymru sources say the Assembly health committee has finally agreed to invite Ann Clwyd MP to give evidence about the treatment of patients in Welsh hospitals. The Cynon Valley MP complained about the conditions endured by her late husband before he died at the University Hospital in Cardiff.
She subsequently carried out a review of hospitals in England for the UK Government but previous attempts by opposition parties to invite Ms Clwyd to give evidence in Cardiff Bay were blocked by Labour AMs. They argued it was constitutionally inappropriate to invite a backbench MP from Westminster.
It's understood that today a proposal from Plaid Cymru's health spokesperson, Elin Jones, that Ann Clwyd is asked to evidence as part of a wider review of patients' complaints on July 10, was accepted at a private meeting of the committee.