The parlous State of NHS Wales and its aspirations does not help doctor recruitment. Neither do the Health Board names. The Boards got rid of subsidized housing some years ago, which would have helped, and school standards may be falling, although somehow the Sunday Times got away without comparisons to England, who may be falling as well! There are problems with infrastructure, aspiration and leadership, as well as debate, in Wales. Since we are attached to a much larger political and economic unit we are likely to find that the net 20% loss of graduates continues until these issues are addressed. Never mind, we can always win the rugby…
James Lyons and Sian Griffiths report that Stephen Crabbe, MP for Pembrokeshire, with no influence on either health or educational implementation policies (he does have on finance and strategy) says in The Sunday Times 1st Feb 2015: Wales “proves Labour will fail pupils”, reprinted later as “Labour win would be ‘catastrophe’, says Boots boss”.
Mailonline 27th Jan 2015 reports: It’s not fair to compare Labour’s Welsh NHS crisis to England, complains Miliband… who insists it is better than it was 18 YEARS ago and “A million flock to A&E because of a shortage of GP appointments”. Also Cameron accuses Labour of using NHS as a political ‘weapon’ after Miliband attacks ‘disgusting’ betrayal of patients amid growing A&E crisis
Renaming Wales’s health boards would be a waste of money and would not solve the NHS’s recruitment problems, according to GPs and campaigners.
The call for a name change came from Professor Derek Gallen, a dean at the Wales Deanery which oversees the education and training of doctors.
Currently there are 400 vacancies in the Welsh NHS for junior doctors and he believes geography or incorrect perceptions of Wales are to blame.
He says he also feels many trainees believe they need to speak Welsh, and that both factors have a negative impact on recruiting and retaining doctors in the country.
Of the 400 training vacancies in Wales, 25 are in the north.
Renaming health boards, for example changing Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to the North Wales Health Board, could help solve the recruitment problem, according to Prof Gallen.
He said: “We need to encourage more junior doctors to train and live in Wales.
“There is potential for junior doctors to not fully understand the geography in Wales, and that they will have long commutes between health boards and trusts on their rotations, also that they will have to speak Welsh.
“These perceptions do play a negative part in the recruitment.”…
BBC News reports 30th Jan 2015: NHS board names ‘hard’ for junior doctors in recruitment and on 26th Mansion tax plan to boost Wales NHS defended by Jones. Exactly 500 homes in Wales are valued over £1 million compared to 4,500 in Scotland and 400,000 in England. (John Arlidge in The Sunday Times 1st Feb 2015: Brick rich, cash poor: meet the new ‘homillionaires’)