Wednesday, 17 September 2014



Once again we have another demand for an independent enquiry into our NHS as doctors have united to prevent the Wales NHS going into ‘meltdown’.

Dr Phil Banfield of the British Medical Association has announced the publication of a further critical report on our health services which was formally presented to the Welsh Government today and acknowledged by our Ministers.  Without any hesitation or prevarication at all, Ministers responded that "They have received the report which they will read and ( hopefully ) study."  Meanwhile, we are all forced to wait with bated breath to hear the predictable negative responses eg. “We’re much too busy improving our services to stop and have an enquiry that will only hinder and delay our work...” or some such similar tripe from Messrs Drakeford and Jones.

I've lost count of the number of times an independent report has been requested, particularly following the damning report from the Royal College of Surgeons that concluded that the Cardiff and Vale University Hospital for Wales is “dangerous”.  Those of us old enough to recall Rhodri Morgan’s first declaration that “The Welsh Assembly Government will be run with complete transparency and openness...” remember how misleading and insincere this statement of intent was, and still is to this very day.  We have all had to endure the repetition of lies about the true state of our health services from every Health Minister since, that has been involved in the progressive degradation of OUR health services.  Starting with the decimation of our Mental Health Services, we have all been made to endure the centralisation and rationalisation of all of our health services. Finally, we arrive at the point where all we can do is look back on the closures of hospitals and a total of 4700 inpatient beds – all changes that have brought Welsh patients to their knees, begging for a G.P. appointment. Even if we get lucky, they can do little to help us to survive the ever-lengthening waiting lists that keep us from getting even a hospital consultation and any necessary treatment that may be required.

To my personal despair the Royal College of Surgeons report showed that 152 cardiac patients awaiting surgery had died before getting remotely close to a life-saving operation. I can’t imagine how many other patients have died in ambulances before ever reaching one of our four remaining trauma centres ( This will increase to five when, and if, Cwmbran hospital  is ever built ).  I can only imagine what poor cancer patients are having to put up with, or neo-natal and postnatal babies.  Meanwhile, chronically ill patients are being sent home, and asked to seek a second referral from their GP to see a consultant, again.  And all the while their ailments get worse, and the likelihood of preventable deaths continues – all because of the gross incompetence of untrained Health Board Officials and self-serving bureaucrats who will do anything to keep their jobs, expenses and fat pensions !  As I have often said, all of these changes are with one aim only - to save money.  Providing adequate healthcare has become a secondary situation.

Will we now get a fully independent enquiry into our health services ????  In my personal opinion, the answer is that their is a greater likelihood of a frosty day in July !   R. W.

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