The National Health Service will be 65 years old in July - and we'd like to hear your experiences of it, good or bad.
Information uncovered by Welsh Lib Dems shows 24 medical errors including swabs and a hypodermic needle left inside patients
A campaign aims to recruit 1,000 NHS staff to improve their own lifestyles and inspire their patients to follow suit.
The Prime Minister has again criticised the Welsh Government's handling of the health service in Wales. David Cameron said Labour Ministers 'need to get their act together' because the NHS here is not being 'properly managed, properly funded and properly reformed.'
He was responding to a question from Conservative MP Charlotte Leslie who repeated her call for an inquiry into hospitals in Wales with high mortality rates similar to that led by Sir Bruce Keogh in England.
The announcement of a review into the way complaints are handled by the NHS in Wales is partly a response to calls by Ann Clwyd who carried out a similar inquiry into the NHS in England. She's told me that she welcomes the news
– Ann Clwyd MP
I'm very pleased to hear that they're inviting complaints. I shared my recommendations and the complaints report with Mark Drakeford and his officials and I did send Carwyn Jones a synopsis of the letters from patients in Wales.
I'm still getting letters, including from Wales, in every post.
If [the Welsh Government] puts a system in place and similar recommendations then that's a very good thing indeed and I very much welcome it.
She also welcomes the appointment of Keith Evans as someone who 'sounds like they've got a lot of experience dealing with customer complaints.' And she told me she'd be happy to pass onto his review team letters and emails she continues to receive from patients and their families in Wales.
Welsh Conservatives have welcomed the announcement of a review into the way NHS complaints are handled in Wales. Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar says:
– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Health MInister
This review of Labour-managed complaints handling is wholeheartedly welcome and long overdue.
There are currently thousands of people waiting for complaints to be resolved and concerns to be answered.
All of these cases will be serious for patients and family members. Many will consist of complaints arising from severe emotional distress. All should be answered much more quickly.
This review is the right decision and no stone should be left unturned in efforts to find radical improvement.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has set out the terms and references of a review he's announced into the way complaints are handled within the NHS here in Wales. Led by former Panasonic UK Chief Executive Keith Evans, the review will:
- Review the current process to determine what is working well and what needs to improve
- Consider if there is sufficiently clear leadership, accountability and openness within the process
- Identify how the NHS in Wales can learn from other service industries
- Consider the wider cultural ‘patient’ service ethos and how staff are supported to deal with patient feedback
- Identify how the NHS can demonstrate it is learning from patient feedback.
The Welsh Government has announced a review of the way complaints and concerns are handled in the NHS in Wales. Health Minister Mark Drakeford says that the twelve-week inquiry will begin this month and will be headed by Keith Evans, the former Chief Executive and MD of Panasonic UK and Ireland.
He'll be supported by Andrew Goodall, Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. Mark Drakeford has been under pressure to hold an investigation into the handling of complaints since a similar one was held in England led by Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd.
Mr Drakeford said:
The vast majority of people tell us they are happy with the care provided by the health service in Wales, and a positive experience is the norm. However, when things don’t happen as they should, the NHS in Wales must listen, learn and take action.
– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister
The current system for handling concerns, based on the principle of ‘investigate once, investigate well’ is almost three years old. It is therefore timely that we review how well the NHS in Wales handles concerns and build on the progress already made.
I am keen that we learn from those with a track record in excellent customer care in other sectors. I have therefore asked Keith Evans to lead this review, which will begin immediately and report back to me after three months of investigation.
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.'
Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales, David Sissling, tells the Assembly's Public Accounts Committee that plans for coping with winter emergency pressures are 'robust' and 'road-tested.'
The Chief Executive Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says fewer than 40 staff are now at risk of compulsory redundancy. The board is aiming to reduce staff numbers by 380 by next March. Adam Cairns told AMs that less than 10% of that figure will be found through compulsory redundancies.
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.'