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.
Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar has told AMs that the report on Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot hospitals was horrific and appalling, with echoes of previous reports, such as the Older Persons' Commissioner's Dignity in Care report.
He said people needed to know such failings will never again be tolerated. Mr Millar suggested that financial pressures were partly responsible for what had happened. He said the minister should meet patients and their families and personally apologise to them. Not that an apology would be enough.
Saying sorry isn't going to heal the wounds that this report has exposed.
– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM
Mr Millar said he would not ask for heads to roll on this occasion, though he would like to know why the Chief Executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board was chosen to help the Betsi Cadwaladr board with its governance.
The Conservatives are calling for an urgent response from the Welsh Government to the concerns about Welsh hospital death rates raised by English NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh.
The concerns raised in this email confirm our serious worries over standards of care in the NHS.Professor Keogh’s recommendation of ‘investigation’ into mortality rates should be immediately undertaken and no longer ignored. It is a matter of great regret that Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour appear to have dismissed the advice provided by this leading expert.For the sake of future generations - Welsh Conservatives have long called for a Keogh-style inquiry into NHS standards of care.I sincerely hope that this will now take place.
– Leader of the Opposition Andrew RT Davies AM
Professor Keogh’s comments are further proof of extremely serious problems within the Welsh NHS.If this leading expert has offered assistance and raised concerns over a potential cover-up – he should not be ignored.I am staggered at reports that his correspondence has gone unanswered and I urge Labour’s First Minister to clarify these reports as soon as possible.
Mortality rates in Wales are of huge concern and I have long raised questions over recent misleading statistics. NHS Wales has suffered catastrophically from Labour’s record-breaking budget cuts. Queuing ambulances, bed blocking, rocketing waiting lists and missed response times continue to throw the service into crisis.A Keogh-style inquiry would address serious concerns and see structures put in place to protect communities.
The intervention overturns plans by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board to send all seriously ill babies to Arrowe Park on the Wirral. Carwyn Jones says the new centre will treat the 'vast majority' of sick babies with the worst cases still treated in Cheshire.
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is one of two possible locations along with Wrexham's Maelor Hospital. A decision's expected early next year. Ann Jones and Darren Millar have issued this joint statement:
This announcement is very welcome indeed and we will now be working hard to ensure that the new enhanced Neonatal Intensive Care Centre is based at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.
We feel it?makes sense for the Centre to be in Bodelwyddan given the excellent accommodation for families of sick babies provided by Ty Croeso Dawn Elizabeth House; the accessibility of the hospital from the A55; and its location in the? heart of North Wales.
Whilst the decision represents a victory for North Wales, the First Minister still needs to make a decision about the location of the centre – which could end up in either Bodelwyddan or Wrexham.
We feel that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd is the perfect site and will be pressing for the First Minister to opt for this location.
The Welsh Conservatives' Shadow Health Minister says the fall in blood collection by the Welsh Blood Service is another example of problems caused by underfunding of the NHS.
The Welsh Labour Government is ultimately responsible for the management of the NHS and that includes the Welsh Blood Service.
There is an old adage in life which says - ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ - yet here we see another example of Welsh Labour’s record breaking NHS cuts forcing unpopular changes in services and costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds more than predicted.
These shocking figures are yet further evidence of our NHS in chaos under Welsh Labour.
Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar tells tonight's Sharp End programme that all district general hospitals in South Wales should continue to offer a full range of accident and emergency services. He was speaking following the announcement of a consultation on the future of A&E units.
You can see the full interview at 1035pm ITV Cymru Wales.
Plans to change hospital emergency departments in South Wales should be abandoned, according to the Welsh Conservatives. The party claims proposals due to be announced later this month will see the number of A&E departments in the region reduced.
Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar said,
With demand for our emergency services on the rise, any plans to downgrade up to half of A&E departments in South Wales are unacceptable and must be abandoned.
Whilst sensible service modernisation in the region is something that we can all support, foolish plans to strip away emergency services from local hospitals are the very last thing that patients in South Wales will be prepared to accept.
Of course the money is welcome, but it can’t be allowed to be a distraction from the bigger issues our ambulance service is facing.
This is a spinning technique that is often used by the Welsh Labour Government – they announce some money to make the headlines so that their failures aren’t discussed. This time the people of Wales won’t be duped by their smoke and mirror techniques. For too long, the handling of our ambulance service has been appalling.
– Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader
Conservative Darren Millar, the Shadow Health Minister, echoed that saying that the service needs more ambulances, more paramedics and a greater role for the air ambulance. He said,
Throwing money at a problem without doing anything else won't make a blind bit of difference.
– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Health MInister
Assembly Members will discuss the McLelland report into the problems facing the Ambulance service during a government debate in the Senedd this afternoon.