Successive increases in the health budgets in Wales have not helped….. Brexit will make it worse… We all seem agreed, so why not change direction?

Pouring more money into a bottomless well, or a holed bucket is what is occurring in Welsh health. There are seven Welsh Health Boards, in various states of economic degradation. There is no NHS, and so the Welsh Health Service has its own financial budget (Including NHS funding rules), its own litigation fund, its own waiting lists, and its own complication and death rates. These will eventually be compared with the other regions in the UK, and the WHO will report to show the differences after and since devolution. Wales is unsustainable as a devolved health service if the residents expect to have the same standards as England (why not, they pay the same taxes?) In addition, Wales is the region which voted most for Brexit, but according to the “Brexitometer” at the Pembrokeshire County Show the farming community are certainly thinking again. (This picture taken well before end of the show)

ITV news explored the Brexit outcomes for Wales: How will Brexit affect the Welsh NHS? | Wales – ITV News The third question askes if people think that Brexit will be good for the NHS. We all seem agreed, so why not change direction?

Meanwhile, the area of the UK with the greatest recruitment problems, has also got the greatest (pro rata) litigation problems. The money set aside for litigation in N Wales is extraordinary. This is part of a national concern, as staff shortages bite, and standards fall: Concern at ‘spiralling’ health complaints to ombudsman (BBC News today)

On 8th December 2015 David Deans in Walesonline reported on an increase of £278m to make a budget for 2016 of £7.1 billion. 

This was confirmed by the National Health (funding) Executive. But assessed at £260m

It is hard to get up-to-date information and the “NHS expenditure programme budgets” from the Welsh Government (WG) website does not help. Neither does the WG budgets website. (A work in progress!!) Neither is help offered by the WG beta website (again in development).

There are however, historic documents for download (.pdf) showing the change in expenditure year on year. (This is of course historic information, and not the budget)

Although prescriptions are free, Social Care is means tested, so why not health? More funds for cancer care is appropriate, but in Wales it could go on free prescriptions.

Wales is already subsidised by England but The real cost of the English taxpayer subsidising NHS Wales – is twice the official figure

Outside of the cities, Cardiff and Swansea, there are really poor areas, and The agony of Damocles swaord hangs over West Wales..

Projected Litigation funding in N Wales is £90m, and the BBC 9 days ago said ” NHS Wales negligence bill alarming”,

Where recruitment is poor, morale is low and staff sickness, already the worst in the world for any organisation, is desperate. Jez Hemming in the Daily Post 6 days ago: What’s been making North Wales health staff so sick?

Shane Brennan reports 16th August on “super sized morgues” and  on the epidemic of obesity leading to higher death rates, as predicted by NHSreality.

This is not a surprise to GPs or NHSreality as Number of GPs in Wales hits lowest level in a decade

Cutting our hospitals could make sense, but there are many threats in doing this. The rules for Yorkshire do not apply in rural Wales. The fourth option for West Wales? Do we want “soft lies and gentle indifference”, until we realise the safety net is failing for us personally?

We are already subsidised by £1,500 per head, and now we have a running deficit: A bigger and bigger deficit in West Wales…… Now at £600 per head……

In Wales they really can waste money: £68m unveiled for health and care hubs

Cancer statistics broken down across Wales. What a pity we in Wales cannot compare to the rest of the UK, and EU.

Stroke patients in Wales ‘could die’ because thrombectomy not available Acute shortage in NHS of specialist doctors who undertake life-saving treatment means hospitals cannot provide it

Rationing by waiting, and insufficient staff. Wales is worst…

Wales is an unsustainable state: another good reason not to leave the EU. Graphics in support…

In Wales, as in many rural areas GPonline Nick Bostock reports: How small GP practices are being pushed towards extinction

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Post Code Lottery, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s