Live updates

Heart disease numbers falling in Wales

The number of people living with heart disease in Wales is falling, according to a new report out today.

Heart disease
Credit: PA Images

The report 'Together for Health' published by the Welsh Government, shows there were 125,567 people living with coronary heart disease in in 2012-2013.

That's 8,040 fewer than in 2006-07, which is a reduction of 6%.

Heart disease however remains an issue in Wales claiming the lives of more than 4,300 people a year.

Treating such diseases also remains a concern making up 8% of the overall NHS expenditure. Between 2011-12 on circulatory disease, which includes stroke and cardiac diseases, hospitals spent more than £442m.

"This report shows a drop in both the number of people living with heart disease and dying from it. Admissions to hospital have also fallen as a result of better care in community settings.

"However, we must continue to tackle heart disease which remains a major cause of death in Wales. We will continue to invest in services, improve early diagnosis and prevent the causes of the disease, including cutting smoking levels and encouraging people to adopt healthier lifestyles."

– Prof Mark Drakeford, Health Minister

Advertisement

Tories support minimum alcohol pricing in Wales

The Welsh Conservatives are supporting moves to introduce minimum alcohol pricing in Wales. That's despite a controversial decision last year by David Cameron to drop a similar plan for England. The Prime Minister feared it would be 'unworkable' and open to legal challenge.

But the party's Shadow Health Minister in the Assembly, Darren Millar, says it can work in Wales.

Minimum price only targets problem drinkers says minister

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has welcomed today's expert report on minimum alcohol pricing which he says adds to the evidence that the move would help cut problem drinking.

And he says it won't have any impact on social drinkers.

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that."

Most people whose budgets are tight are sensible drinkers, the drink they buy will already be above the 50p minimum price per unit we propose. The evidence in today's report is that this will not have an impact on people who are living in pretty modest circumstances. It will help us to target people whose drinking has gone beyond that.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

Your Views: A minimum price for alcohol in Wales?

The price of a drink could go up in Wales if the Welsh Government takes the advice of experts and put a minimum of 50p a unit on a drink.

Alcohol
Experts say alcohol in Wales should cost at least 50p a unit. Credit: PA

Plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol have been backed by a panel advising ministers on substance misuse.

Experts said the measure would protect vulnerable people, boost public health and improve community life. It could become law in 2015.

We'd like to know what your opinions are. Would you be happy to pay more for the cheapest alcohol and what effect to you think it will have on Wales?

Email us at wales@itv.com or at facebook or on twitter @ITVWales

Advertisement

Health minister: 'Indisputable evidence price of alcohol matters'

The health minister Mark Drakeford says today's report supports the view that a minimum unit pricing of alcohol will help prevent alcohol misuse in Wales.

The Welsh Government first introduced the proposals in a public health White Paper in April which also included a ban on e-cigarettes in public places.

"There is indisputable evidence that the price of alcohol matters. It is no coincidence that as the affordability of alcohol has improved substantially so has alcohol-related death and disease.

“A minimum unit price will make a strong contribution to preventing alcohol overuse and misuse and reducing alcohol-associated illnesses. The panel’s report supports this view. “We will now develop our proposals further with a view to introducing the Public Health Bill in early 2015.”

– Professor Mark Drakeford

Independent panel calls for minimum alcohol pricing

The Welsh Government should introduce the minimum unit pricing of alcohol, an independent health panel has recommended.

Red wine
Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Government’s Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse (APoSM)says it would help to address alcohol-related harm among people most affected by hazardous and harmful levels of drinking.

Wales has a higher rate of alcohol-related deaths than England. There were 504 alcohol-related deaths in 2012.

In the last 10 years, alcohol misuse accounted for more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales.

“Alcohol health and social harm problems are preventable. Expert evidence and research confirms cheaper drinks are favoured by those who drink hazardously or harmfully, and a minimum unit price would have a disproportionate targeting effect on problematic drinking, reducing alcohol problems and achieving health and other benefits for individuals and our communities as a whole."

– Kyrie Ll James, chair of the Advisory Panel on Substance Misuse

Last year, the UK Government made a controversial u-turnon the issue due to a 'lack of convincing evidence' that it would have an impact on alcohol consumption.

Lib Dems say M4 plan makes budget talks difficult

The Welsh Lib Dems are now the only party talking to the Welsh Government about a deal to support the budget. Their leader, Kirsty Willaims, says that following Plaid Cymru's decision to quit the negotiations over the £1 billion Newport motorway announcement says she'll keep negotiating but the plan for the M4 makes it "difficult".

The Welsh Liberal Democrat priority for the next budget continues to be extra support for Wales’ poorest school children through our Pupil Premium. However, it’s very difficult to see how we can support a budget that prioritises the current M4 proposals and that is what we will explain to the Welsh Government in future negotiations.

The M4 announcement yesterday was a huge mistake. It completely flies in the face of the environmental and economic issues. Our proposed alternatives are far less expensive and less likely to damage vast swathes of the environment. A responsible Government wouldn’t spend its entire borrowing powers on one single road, leaving no money left for other transport projects.

– Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams AM

Labour's adopting Plaid's ideas, claims leader

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said that although legislation is not the only requirement for tackling Wales health and education problems, she's pleased that the Welsh Government has adopted what she claims are some of her parties policies in those fields.

The Qualifications Wales Bill will introduce the independent exam regulating body that Plaid Cymru has called for, although the Labour government will need to do a lot more to convince people that it has the measures in place to drive up standards when it comes to the Welsh education system.

The establishment of a Welsh Treasury through the Tax Collection and Management Bill is a significant move. There is great symbolism in establishing this function, which goes beyond the essential role it will have in administering the devolved taxes and borrowing powers. All self-respecting Parliaments must have the ability to vary taxes. Unlike Scotland, it has taken Wales fifteen years to establish this important symbolic function.

Plaid Cymru very much welcomes the establishment of a Welsh Treasury. For the first time, future Welsh Governments will have acquired the extra economic levers needed for job creation, although the powers proposed in the Wales Bill are limited and will not yet lead to a government that is properly accountable to the people of Wales.”--

– Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood AM
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories