'Together in Health'
I stayed up until 2.30am to listen to Leslie Griffiths, Minister for Health etc, and experienced deja vu as I listened carefully to the meaningless and insincere summary of her 'Plan' for the next 5 years. She stated that the plan was essential because existing services were not safe and not sustainable. Why ? - no answer. She also stated that there is an absolutely compelling case for change in NHS Wales. What is it ? I asked myself, whilst watching Andrew T Davies fumbling his way through his assessment of 'Together for Health'. He managed to point out that the document lacked any detail at all and that there was no 'Who' What', 'Where', 'How' or 'Why', or any timing in the document. The Minister replied sharply "this is a five year plan'. Great, I thought watching Andrew retake his seat clumsily. Fortunately, my heroine stepped into the breach and pointed out to the Minister that she was espousing the same empty rhetoric that all previous health ministers had used in the same meaningless documents ( all of a different name ) that had been published over the last 14 years. Who ? - Kirsty Williams, of course - a brilliant leader in every sense of the word. ( and I am a Labour voter ). No answer at all except to say that the opposition AM's were just insulting the intelligence of the public, and that NHS Wales was doing a wonderful job.
I nearly fainted ! Since 1972, we have lost 30% of mental health beds in
and the Vale and, as the BMA stated, hundreds more throughout general services in Cardiff . And all of these losses over a period where the health needs of communities has increased, yet have become smaller in size and - most importantly - have become less and less accessible to all of us. Wales
So, who does she think she's kidding ? Does she think that everyone is so dull that they have lost there memories and cannot see the evidence of their own eyes ?
If there is an issue of 'safety and sustainability' ( and I don't believe there is ), then it is because successive health ministers have created this situation through their own sheer neglect, plus the total absence of any 'Needs Assessment' over the past 10 years. Sully, Rookwood, the CRI and West wing have suffered neglect for over 20 years, as I and others can testify. Contrary to this, millions of pounds have been put into the health service for back-stage services and staff with absolutely no improvement in patient services ( except Llandough Mortuary which won a best practice commendation ).
And - worst of all, to me - there will be NO PEOPLE's FORUM, that was launched on the BBC earlier this year. Her answer for ignoring the concerns of patients and the public ( as a statutory requirement of The Health and Social Care Act 2001 ), was that "The Community Health Councils ARE the voice of the people". Successive consultations have shown this to be total fiction, as the CHC's have proven themselves to be the lap-dogs of the health authorities by completely ignoring public responses, verbal and written. So, once again she is hanging onto a falsehood, knowing that the CHC members will invariably support the Health Board in anything they plan to do, regardless of the adverse effect on the long-suffering patients, and the poor, overworked staff.
'Together for Health' is complete fiction as it really means that we have to cure ourselves in future, whilst she and the other NHS fat-cats languish on their huge salaries, not giving a damn for the poor patient or the reduced health services. Liars, all of them ! R.W.