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Labour AM says Ann Clwyd is denigrating Welsh NHS

Ann Clwyd's latest criticisms of the Welsh NHS for sometimes giving poor care to patients provoked an angry response from one Labour backbencher in the Senedd.

Lynne Neagle AM said such cases, which included the treatment of Ms Clwyd's husband who died in hospital in Cardiff, did not give the Cynon Valley MP "the right to denigrate the entire Welsh NHS".

Ann Clwyd 'questions' future devolution because of NHS concerns in Wales

Labour MP Ann Clwyd says she's still receiving letters of concern from patients in Wales who've had bad experiences in Welsh hospitals. The Cynon Valley MP led an inquiry for the UK Government into the handling of complaints in the English NHS.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate she said Welsh health chiefs also need to learn lessons from the Francis review into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. And she said concerns about the NHS in Wales calls into question the prospect of giving the Welsh Government any further powers.

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Sort out English NHS failings before criticising Wales Labour tells Health Secretary

Labour's Shadow Health Secretary says the UK Government she 'spend more time' sorting out problems in the NHS in England and less 'pointing the finger at Wales.' Andy Burnham was responding to criticism of the Welsh NHS during a debate on a review into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS trust.

Current hospital deaths data 'too hard to find and use'

An expert group has called for the Welsh Government to work closely with health boards to implement a new system for recording death rates in hospitals.

The Transparency Taskforce found that current methods cannot be used to compare the quality of care between different healthcare systems.

The taskforce report recognises that the NHS in Wales has already taken significant steps to become more transparent, such as the introduction of the My Local Health Service website, which offers clear and easy-to-understand data about the Welsh NHS.

However, it is clear that some of the information currently available is too technical, and too hard to find and use.

To be useful in identifying what is really happening, mortality figures need to be monitored and published at a number of levels within a single health service. No one way of measuring mortality gives a clear picture of the overall position within a hospital or the whole system.

We therefore suggest that the Welsh Government works closely with health boards to implement a new system relating to Welsh hospitals only, to be implemented by this autumn.

– Dr Chris Jones, Deputy Chief Medical Officer

'Welsh approach' needed for hospital deaths data

A new 'Welsh approach' to the publication of death rates in hospitals is needed, an expert group has recommended.

The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, asked a team of senior clinicians, information specialists and patient representatives to examine whether the continued use of current mortality indicators covering Wales and England was clinically meaningful.

The team, led by Dr Chris Jones, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, has concluded that risk adjusted hospital mortality rates (RAMI) cannot be used to compare the quality of care between different healthcare systems.

The Transparency Taskforce findings, published today, also call for more clinical data to be made easily available to patients in Wales at hospital and even specialty level.

The report recommends that mortality measures are treated with caution, and should always be published and considered alongside more direct measures of service quality, such as patient feedback and untoward incidents.

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Drakeford: travel to get 'best possible treatment'

In the future it's likely more of us will have to travel further to get specialist treatment on the Welsh NHS.

The story of reconfiguration, as it's known, has dominated the news this year and that's likely to continue into the new year.

Our Health reporter Rob Osborne has been speaking to the Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM about it.

"The case for change is recognised," he said.

"The way of the future of medicine in Wales and everywhere else is that if you want to get the best possible treatment you will need to go to where there is a greater concentration of people who are able to get the experience they need in providing that specialist service.

"We can't go on in Wales trying to do too many things in too many places."

You can see more of Rob Osborne's interview with the Health Minister in Newsweek Wales at 12.35pm on Sunday.

Campaigners hand in petition to Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board over proposed changes

Campaigners are lobbying health board officials about planned changes to Blaenau Ffestiniog Hospital. Under the proposals, the hospital would only deal with outpatients.

Patients needing to stay overnight would be sent to Ysbyty Alltwen in Porthmadog.

The proposals were made in a report commissioned for the Welsh Government. Part of the plans would see the restructure of health services, which would lead to some services being centralised. They were welcomed by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board who said it would help their plans to improve services.

Campaigners have been working for 7 years to try to preserve and improve services at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

The 12 beds at Blaenau Ffestiniog are currently allocated by local GPs. Campaigners are handing in a petition to Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board today.

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