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Welsh Govt: Patients 'should have access' to good care

The Welsh Government has today announced £6.4 million of funding to help support hospices and provide end-of-life care across the country.

Last year, the Welsh Government published its End of Life Care Plan, which aims to reduce inequalities in end-of-life care and maintain an individual's dignity in their last days of life.

No matter where you live in Wales, patients approaching the end of their lives should have access to consistently good care and support. With advances in modern medicine and treatment, more people live longer with incurable diseases.

Whether a person wishes to die in hospital, in a hospice or at home, we are providing funding to make sure the right level of professional, caring support is available.

Where death can be expected, we must be prepared to have honest and open conversations about the end of life - it should not be a taboo subject. Preparing and planning for the end of life with the involvement of family, carers and professionals is essential to the delivery of high-quality care.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

£2.6 million of funding will be made available specifically for palliative care provided by voluntary-sector hospices and just over £3 millions will be allocated to health boards across Wales.

£6.4 million of funding for specialist end-of-life care

The new funding will ensure palliative care is available across Wales. Credit: PA

A £6.4 million funding package to support hospices and provide palliative care across Wales has been announced by the Health Minister Mark Drakeford today.

The new funding for hospices and health boards in 2014-15 will ensure specialist consultant, nurse and other health support for palliative care is available in all parts of the country.

Palliative care focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients, including those nearing the end of their life. Health professionals - including doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers - work together to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient's life.

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Plaid Cymru concerned over cuts to apprenticeships

Plaid Cymru has expressed its dismay over cuts to the Young Recruits Programme and apprenticeships.

The party found that £7 million of in-year cuts are being made to the Welsh Government's education and skills budget, affecting the schemes.

Despite the high demand for apprenticeships, the Deputy Minister for Education and Skills has confirmed that the programme is to be changed.

We have been open about the scale of the financial challenges we face. These reductions have been made after careful consideration of all available options.

Let's be clear - we are delivering on our budget agreement. In spite of these reductions, we have been able to maintain funding for traineeships, and we are continuing to fund Apprenticeships for those aged 16-24 and Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Our Young Recruits Programme has been extremely popular and has exceeded its target. In order to continue to offer the programme, we have had to restrict eligibility for future recruitment to participants progressing into apprenticeships from Jobs Growth Wales and apprentices on an approved Shared Apprenticeship Scheme.

– Ken Skates AM, Deputy Minister for Skill and Technology

Pupils at Gower College celebrate their A-Level results

This group of girls were pleased with their results Credit: ITV News Wales

Pupils at Gower College in Swansea were celebrating their A-Level results this morning.

Principal Mark Jones said: "A fantastic set of results. We've got 98% pass rates this year, and 25% of those getting their results have got A or A* grades. Today is a day of great celebration."

It was good news for this student, who will now go to Nottingham University Credit: ITV News Wales
Celebrating their results at Gower College in Swansea Credit: ITV News Wales

Share your 'selfies' on A-level results day

Please get in touch on A-level results day, with your stories, messages and photographs.

In particular, we want your 'selfies' - photos taken with your results envelope, your grades, with your friends or family.

Thousands of young people are receiving their results today. Credit: PA

Here's how to get in touch:

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Thousands of pupils across Wales await A-level results

More than 10,000 young people across Wales are waiting anxiously to receive their A-level results today.

Last year, the proportion of Welsh pupils receiving the top grades fell for the fourth time in succession, while pupils here fell further behind their counterparts in England.

Thousands of pupils will receive grades today that may help shape their futures. Credit: PA

Last year, 22.9% of pupils in Wales received an A or A* at A-level, compared to 26.3% in England.

The overall pass rate in Wales remained the same, at 97.6% - compared to 98.1% in England.

For many young people, their grades will allow them to confirm places at university, or enter clearing - often if they have not got the grades they hoped for.

All eight Welsh universities have said that they have undergraduate places available via clearing.

Many other young people will choose to take up courses in further education, apprenticeships, or go into the workplace.

AS-level and Welsh Baccalaureate results will also be issued to pupils today.

Jeff Cuthbert: Students are 'not alone' during results

With thousands of students across the country due to receive their exam results over the next two weeks, Jeff Cuthbert AM says it is important for them to know that they are 'not alone' during this stressful time.

Waiting for exam results can be very stressful for young people and marks a major personal landmark when they are getting ready for the next stage of their lives. Their results will be a key factor as they look at options for the future.

It is important that they know they are not alone and that if they need to discuss and get help with their concerns, that they have somewhere to go where they can speak freely, confidentially and anonymously.

In previous years, Meic has made a real difference in helping young people who have gone through the same emotions and feelings. Meic gives them a chance to voice their concerns and ensures they are listened to.

– Jeff Cuthbert AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
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