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Labour failing our health service

February 13, 2013 5:11 PM

It seems that hardly a day goes by when we are not reading yet another story of problems within the Health Service in Wales. The Health Service for which ultimately, despite her best efforts to push the blame anywhere and everywhere else - the Labour Health Minister is responsible.

The devolution message is one that still has not been adequately put across to many people in Wales never mind elsewhere, a fact that is not helped by the Labour party's deliberate blurring of the lines whenever it suits. Health is devolved, and responsibility lies not with Westminster but with the Welsh Government in Cardiff Bay.

They currently have a very, very long way to go before they even begin to live up to the fine words and promises of their 2011 manifesto.

Just look at the past few days. 12th February Wales Online article

"Serious concerns have been voiced about the lack of urgency in dealing with chronic staffing shortages in Wales' embattled maternity units.

In a report published today into maternity services, the National Assembly's Public Accounts Committee accused the Welsh Government of failing to act quickly enough to deal with poor staffing levels in Welsh hospitals.

The report also warned that the quality of care available to expectant mothers in Wales may not be sustainable because of the severe pressures on resources,"

11th February "Urgent calls have today been made for the NHS to improve frontline staffing levels after more than half of dignity spot-checks in Wales' hospitals raised concerns about patient safety."

"The inspection reports highlight staffing concerns at hospitals across the nation, including at the Princess of Wales Hospital at Bridgend, the Royal Gwent Hospital at Newport and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital at Llantrisant,"

On February 10th Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Health Spokesperson Kirsty Williams told the BBC that she feared staff were being "overwhelmed" with the amount of work they have to cover. This followed an emergency visit with a family member to Neville Hall hospital.

""[There were] staff working hours long after their shift should have finished, still working on those wards because of a lack of nurses and a lack of doctors. "Patients were waiting incredible amounts of time to be seen and, in the end, patients were leaving the hospital against medical advice because there were simply no beds for them. It seemed to me, especially last Monday night, that this was a service that was not coping at the moment and, despite the best efforts of staff, that's when mistakes are made."

"There was a lady who was told she needed to stay the night to be observed, but there was no bed and that she should take a seat again in the waiting room and they would keep an eye on her there. And she said 'well I can't sit overnight in the waiting room, I have to go home if there's no bed for me'.

"And they couldn't tell her when a bed would become available. The hospital was full to the gunnels and if she left she would have to sign to say she was leaving against advice of staff and the warden."

This of course on top of the statement by Carwyn Jones at the start of the month that without changes to the NHS in Wales the service would "collapse." The obvious question of course being why they have let it gets to this stage.

The Labour party, standing up for Wales, protecting services, the party of the people? You decide.