The Liberals could save your health services – give them a chance. None of the others have the will or the nouse to do this. David Deans in Walesonline 10th February 2015 reported: “Future of the NHS in Wales to be considered by cross-party commission” and then reported 10th March 2015 on Kirsty Williams’ suggestion to depoliticise the health service: “Plans for cross-party commission on the future of the NHS in tatters”
Plaid’s Elin Jones said it was not the right time to set up such a “political” commission.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams had come up with the idea for the cross-party probe and had won support from Welsh Government health minister Mark Drakeford and First Minister Carwyn Jones.
But on Tuesday night Welsh Government sources appeared to blame the Lib Dems for the proposal’s collapse.
Ms Jones said: “It is not the appropriate time to set up such a commission in the final year of this Welsh Government and just before the 2016 election.”
‘No chance’ of commission
In response a Welsh Government source said: “It now appears there is no chance of a cross-party commission.
“This is a matter of real regret and owes in no short measure to the cack-handed way in which the Liberals leaked the correspondence as a spoiler to the Welsh Labour conference.”
A spokesman for Mr Drakeford said the public will “be disappointed, particularly as the idea of a commission to look at Wales’ most treasured institution had gathered widespread support”.
Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said: “This is disappointing as it was a real chance to take some forward steps in improving our NHS for staff and patients alike.
“It’s revealing that the health minister has hid behind a member of his staff in blaming my party, rather than standing by the words himself. He should have the strength to do his own dirty work.”
The Lib Dems denied leaking the document.
on 11th March ITV news reported on “Row over collapse of proposed cross-party NHS commission” and ‘Concerns’ over changes to health services in Wales and England, by which they mean the comparisons!
A group of MPs, the Welsh Affairs Committee, has published a report on cross border health services.
It says half the population of Wales lives within 25 miles of the border with England. As a result cross-border movements are a fact of life, including for healthcare.
Since devolution there has been increasing divergence between the healthcare systems of Wales and England. The committee says this can cause confusion for patients, particularly those who rely on healthcare facilities on either side of the border from where they live.
Its recommendations and conclusions include:
- We are concerned that there is a lack of communication regarding changes to healthcare services which could have an impact across the border. We recommend that formal protocols are put in place to ensure consultation between LHBs and CCGs when changes to services impact on populations across the border.
- We recommend that NHS Wales and NHS England work together to improve patient engagement for cross-border services.
- We recommend that the Department of Health and the Welsh Government work together with medical practitioners, particularly at a GP level, to ensure that patients are better informed of the differences in healthcare policy between England and Wales. Patients must also be made aware of the impact of choosing a Welsh or English GP and the implications that this might have for later care.
- We welcome the commitment from the Welsh Government’s Health Minister on patient needs and his commitment not to allow the border to become a barrier. We recognise that Welsh GPs will be mindful of a need to maintain investment and capacity in Wales. Healthcare providers in England and Wales need to maintain close links to ensure that patients receive the treatment they need regardless of their country of residence, particularly given the policy divergence that has emerged as a result of devolution.
BBC News report: Lib-Dem and Tory leaders clash over NHS commission plan but the Liberals are devalued by their bribe, and denial of the need to ration: BBC News: Liberal Democrats promise millions more for Welsh NHS