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Why no outcry over Welsh NHS failures

August 10, 2013 10:30 AM

It is unfortunate that many people in Wales still do not fully understand devolution and the fact that many of our key services are governed by the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay. This is not helped by the dominance of UK wide, England based media which rarely mentions events in Wales and even more rarely makes any comparisons of services either side of the border.

Take for instance the recent outrage over A&E waiting times in England. Now people have every right to be annoyed if the service they are getting is not up to the standard they have come to expect, but nowhere in the headline stories will you find a comparison with just how much worse it is in Wales.

The percentage of patients waiting over four hours in A&E this side of the border is twice what it is in England. Here the same 6% they are up in arms about in England wait for more than eight hours. Yet where is the outcry?

Targets in the English NHS are set higher than in Wales, yet we still miss them here. Ambulance response times for example. In England the target is for 75% of emergency calls to be responded to in 8 minutes. In Wales the target is only 65% and we cannot hit that. In England the target time to start treatment after a referral to a specialist is 18 weeks, here it is 36 weeks, and we cannot hit that. Yet where is the outcry?

Of course the lack of general understanding of devolution suits the Labour party down to the ground, as they can still churn out the same old tired line that it is all Westminster's fault - one they didn't use funnily enough when their own party were in charge there. When it comes to health the finger of blame should only be pointing in one direction in Wales.

Cllr Mike Powell