The cumulative impact of the UK Government's decisions means that our budget has been cut by £1.7 billion in real terms since 2010-11.
The impact of these cuts on all public services, including the NHS, is inescapable. We know that health boards are facing unprecedented levels of demand and additional burdens, and have responded by increasing the health budget in Wales by £570m over three years.
Cardiff and Vale Health Board is not making 400 members of staff redundant. Faced with increasing demands against a backdrop of austerity, it is modernising and creating more efficient systems and ways of working. As a result of these changes, some staff are being redeployed, some are taking voluntary early release, and where posts are no longer needed, those posts are being removed. We are reassured that compulsory redundancy will affect a very small number of staff, as a last resort.
UNISON members from across South Wales plan to demonstrate today against jobs cuts being proposed by the Cardiff and Vale health board.
A petition will be delivered to the National Assembly for Wales as part of the campaign to protect jobs and services says the union.
The board is aiming to reduce staff by 380 by next March.
The Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says fewer than 40 staff are at risk of compulsory redundancy.
Mike Jones of UNISON said, "We know the Welsh government has aimed to work in partnership with the unions and the NHS around these budget pressures and we applaud them for that. Unfortunately Cardiff and Vale has decided to go their own way - that is frustrating and demoralising.**
"In our view, cutting jobs flies in the face of the staffing issues raised in the Francis report. We know that staffing levels are key to the sustainability of good quality safe services and there are certain clinical areas being considered that lead us to have serious concerns," he said.**
The Welsh Government has confirmed figures which show the extent of difficulties caused by emergency pressures faced by hospitals last winter. The Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Wales, Kevin Flynn, told Assembly Members earlier that hospitals are still dealing with a backlog of postponed operations.
He told the Public Accounts committee that hospitals are on course to catch-up and are prepared for the coming winter. You can see his evidence here and the evidence of the Chief Executive David Sissling, but here are the figures:
2,600 operations postponed during the winter months of 2012/13
That equates to less than 1% of the 250,000 operations carried out every year
At the end of August 13,147 patients were waiting longer than 36 weeks for surgery
That's a rise of 2,038 compared to the end of July
Early figures show the number of patients waiting longer than 36 weeks fell in September to just over 12,000
The Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Wales told AMs that hospitals are still catching up on a backlog caused by last year's 'unprecedented' winter pressures. Kevin Flynn told the the Public Accounts Committee that 2,600 operations were cancelled last winter to cope with emergency admissions.
He described last winter as a 'once in fifty years' event caused by a combination of extreme bad weather and demographic changes. The Chief Executive, David Sissling, told the committee that plans for this coming winter are 'robust.'
Adam Cairns told members of the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that the board 'had a responsibility to work within the budget' its been given. But he also said he's confident that the board's hospitals can continue to deliver high quality care with fewer beds and staff.
He told the committee that 'nobody wants to stay in hospital longer than necessary' and that enabling patients to leave sooner means fewer beds are needed, allowing resources to be more focussed.
The Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales says he's confident that health boards have 'robust' plans for coping with winter emergency pressures. David Sissling acknowledged that Welsh hospitals have only just caught up with operations cancelled as a result of last winter.
Mr Sissling told members of the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that last winter was a 'once in fifty years' event because of unprecedented bad weather. He said planning for the coming cold weather has been 'very rigorous, very thorough' and assumes that 'it could be like the previous winter.'
He told AMs that 'plans are robust and road tested' and that the NHS in Wales 'can go into winter with confidence.'
The Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales has told Assembly Members that health chiefs now understand there will be no further budget bailouts in the future. David Sissling was being questioned by members of the Public Accounts Committee over concerns about the health service's finances.
Mr Sissling told the AMs that now that health boards are being allowed to draw up three year budgets, they are developing 'strong plans' which show 'rigour and discipline' when it comes to financial targets.
Boards have been criticised by auditors for a culture which assumes there will be extra money if they fail to meet those financial targets. Mr Sissling said that boards realise that when the plans are 'signed off, they are signed off.'