Nuff said about failings !
More damning research reveals that Wales has cut health services too far, with the prospect of never being able to reach acceptable waiting times. Meanwhile, more babies will die needing prompt neo-natal emergency care; More heart attack victims will never make it to hospital in time, expiring in transit; Similarly, more chronically ill adults will be fatally failed, and; the elderly and/or elderly mentally infirm will have no place go, for the lack of specialist care and sufficient care homes throughout South Wales. No one can deny that this is remotely acceptable as a modern, efficient health service.
The recent independent report by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation highlighted the disproportionately lengthening waiting times in Wales compared to our three British neighbours. Not only higher recently but progressively higher since the first rationalisation of essential services began. On average, it’s 170 days wait for knee replacement compared to 70 days in Scotland ( still way too long ).
Spending had slowed in response to austerity but Wales was the only nation to have made such huge cuts in expenditure on health services. The report states that increases in waiting times “should have set alarm bells ringing” for policymakers when considering the inevitable impacts. Leader of Welsh conservatives, Darren Millar said “It’s no wonder our NHS is falling behind and it’s no wonder Welsh patients are getting such a raw deal”. He added that “elsewhere expenditure on frontline staff is boosted but in Wales we are burdened by a decrease.”
The Prime Minister had a field day with this performance, saying that “ Offa’s Dyke had become a line between life and death and that this had become a national tragedy”. He also stated that our government “just don’t get it – faced with grief they demand evidence. Faced with evidence they demand silence.” Jeremy Hunt, health Secretary joined the criticisms by accusing the Welsh Government of “Sleepwalking into a Mid-Staffs tragedy”, accusing them of “Appalling lapses of care”. Mr Cameron emphasised that Wales is failing compared not just to other parts of the UK but the rest of Europe.
And what is Carwyn Jones response ? He says, “We took our eye off the ball” Cameron compared this to “a man in the crow’s nest of the Titanic taking his eye off the horizon”, concluding that “This man and his government are sinking the hopes of a generation,”
All in all, we have to say that this is a darkening picture for future healthcare in Wales. - R.W.