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.
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.
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.
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.
A Labour and a Conservative AM have joined forces to push for a intensive baby care centre to be based at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan. Ann Jones and Darren Millar have put aside political differences to welcome the First Minister's decision to develop a neonatal care centre in North Wales.
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:
The Welsh Conservatives have welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a neonatal care centre for North Wales. But they say it should be established as soon as possible.
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 Conservatives are describing Carwyn Jones' comments about a campaign group in support of A&E services at Llantrisant's Royal Glamorgan hospital as a 'slap-down' to Labour politicians involved. The party's Shadow Health Minister said:
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,
Opposition parties in the Assembly have reacted with scepticism to the Welsh Government's announcement of £9.5m investment to upgrade Wales' ambulance fleet. The Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams called the spending 'a fig-leaf' to distract from Labour's 'poor record' with the service.
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,
Assembly Members will discuss the McLelland report into the problems facing the Ambulance service during a government debate in the Senedd this afternoon.