The Laddy's not for turning - Wales Report - Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards is - without doubt - the best Anchor Man and Presenter in the business - bar none !
Mark Drakeford is - without doubt - as useless as udders on a bull, following the same inflexible path of destruction of NHS Wales as his predecessors. Huw Edwards usually reduces interviewees to their DNA, but the entire show appeared to be a medium for the Health Minister to look almost knowledgeable about health matters and also a bit intelligent.
Marcus Longley threw in a few brilliant observations, such as, "The NHS is not coping with emergency cases, and "people have been lulled into a false sense of security, believing they will get good treatment" ( which, of course is like shooting craps and hoping for a 7 ). He also added that "NHS money is not being spent to best effect " [ No - REALLY ? ]. Huw then asked Drakeford why the NHS in Wales was performing so badly, according to many newspaper reports and most of public opinion.
Undeterred ( and with a face straighter than studio wall ) he said, "Wales' performance is the same as England, in fact, identical". He then claimed "that their were no cuts made in Wales and that 43% of the Welsh budget was spent on the NHS". Huw Edwards managed not to burst into laughter and aske "Why then has the Kings Fund ( completely independent ) reported that Wales has suffered 8% cuts for each of the past three years, and the Conservatives showed that £800m of cuts had been made over the same period. ?" Incredibly, the Minister claimed that their had 8% growth in the NHS".
After a pause to allow Huw to regain his seat, he asked the MInister "Why then are their nothing bur reports of Failure in the NHS ?" Drakeford countered with, "there are more pressures not failures.." and went on to meekly report that "Nurses have been given another £10m for next year" [ BIG blinking DEAL - RW ].
Huw then moved onto more fertile ground, asking about the awful delays at A&E departments, where some people were waiting in ambulances for 12 hours. Ignoring the disaster that is UHW, which is now closed to passers by who want to rest, Drakeford trotted out the usual pathetic excuse that "Last winter A&E suffered "Unprecedented pressures from patients, which was ( of course ) the cause of the long waits" ( yeah right ) . Not satisfied with that insult, he went on to say, "...that too many people turned up to Morriston Hospital A&E that didn't need treatment".
The next question was "What about the lack of beds to put A&E admissions into hospital ?" [ over 800 cut - RW ]. Drakeford parried with "People should be moved out of hospital beds, more people are receiving residential care, preferring to stay in their homes". ( no mention of all the residential homes that had been closed by local authorities, of course ).
Huw responded "..but aren't you just shifting one problem to another area, and delaying matters" ( by not being busy fabricating reasons why he intends to completely ignore public opinion ).
The Minister then leant forward saying, "When a matter is put to me, I consider it and then make a decision...." He added that, "...once I make my decision there is no changing it. People from Llanelli have tried to raise the matter with me but I have told them that I am only willing to discuss the implementation of the change. I am satisfied that the changes are necessary ".
Death rates were the next topic, with Huw saying "How is that 11 out of 17 Welsh hospitals had higher death rates that anywhere else in the UK ( over 100 deaths ), as reported independently and confirmed by Ann Clwydd. ?" The Minister said that he didn't agree with much that was in her report. He claimed that the NHS Wales was performing well with "Huge patient successes". He chose to finish by saying, "The average A&E waiting time was 6 minutes" ( apparently causing a lot of choking noises in the studio ).
As I have already stated in earlier posts, there seems to be a huge chasm between Drakeford's assertions and the truth - suprise suprise ! R. W.
N.B. Regretfully. the topic of the damning report be the Royal College of Surgeons that UHW was 'dangerous' and that there had been 152 avoidable deaths of cardia patients waiting for surgery'.