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Clwyd v Carwyn - the battle continues whilst Welsh health service continues to fail


The row between Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd and her Welsh Labour Government colleagues shows no signs of abating as the Labour First Minister and his colleagues continue in denial over the deep rooted problems within the Welsh NHS.
Following the poor treatment she alleged was received by her husband at the University of Wales Hospital Ms Clwyd was asked by the UK Government to oversee a review in England. During the course of that she received numerous complaints from Wales and she was outspoken in her criticism of the service being provided under the leadership of her Labour colleagues.
Speaking to S4C in September last year she said "I asked for a comparison between Wales and England and the diagnostics for the two countries and Wales is behind England in every instance. It appears that things are very bad."
She told Wales Online "I wouldn't have spoken out as I have done on this were it not for the fact that people don't seem willing to admit there are problems in Wales and yet the messages I've had from all over Wales make it perfectly plain that there are problems here."
First Minister Carwyn Jones was having none of it. A couple of weeks later he told journalists, that he was determined to disperse the "myths" about the provision in Wales, and that "if you listen to voices from Westminster you would think that the NHS in Wales is a worse place to receive care than England. Nothing could be further from the facts nor the truth."
Since then the problems have continued with target after target from ambulance response times to cancer treatment times being missed. Yet the Welsh Labour Government still fail to accept there are significant problems.
The argument between Ms Clwyd and Carwyn came to the fore again this week
During First Minister's Questions on Tuesday March 18th Carwyn Jones said
"I am afraid that Ann has based her allegations on the way her husband was treated……Ann Clwyd has produced no evidence and no facts. I have asked her, and the Minister for health has asked her. She has produced nothing but anonymous comments that are unattributable-we do not know where they are from, whether they are correct or not, and they cannot be investigated."
There have been several nasty exchanges via the press since then. Today the BBC carries a piece from Ms Clwyd in which she said
"I don't want this to be used as a political football and in the letter that I wrote to the first minister nearly four months ago I made the point that I felt this was a Labour issue and it was an opportunity for Labour to speak out, for Labour to show that we recognise the kind of things that Francis recognised.
"I'm going to carry on talking about it and I hope somebody somewhere will realise that this is not an attack on any political party. This is a call for things to be put right in the Welsh NHS for the sake of patients."
Having been told this week that the Royal Glamorgan downgrade is going ahead and that the hospital reorganisation is pressing ahead based on five hospital one of which has not even been given the go ahead to be built yet residents in this area u particular will have good cause for concern.
Ms Clwyd should be congratulated on speaking out, although it is a shame that, as she admits to the BBC "I think my interest, my concerns, were first aroused by what happened to my husband."
People have a right to expect that their elected representatives will speak out on their behalf on issues of importance irrespective of personal experience or involvement. Still, she has eventually woken up to the problems faced by many of her constituents and people across Wales. How long will it take for the Welsh Labour Government to do the same?





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