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Labour Government must admit NHS problems


As people still try to unravel the complexities surrounding the South Wales Programme and what it will mean for hospital services in Rhondda Cynon Taff and elsewhere the bad news surrounding the Health Service in Wales continues relentlessly.
The latest statistics out last week showed that once again the Welsh Labour Government's A&E targets were missed. For the quarter ending in December, 89.4% were dealt with within four hours in A&E - quite a bit short of the target for 95% of patients to be seen within that time - and 849 patients spent twelve hours or more in A&E.
Patients in Wales wait longer for a whole range of treatment and surgical procedures including hip replacements than those in England. The Welsh Labour Government targets for cancer treatment have not been met in five years. Yet the Labour First Minister and Health Minister continue to bury their heads in the sand.
Today's Wales Online has the Minister for Health claiming that part of the reason GP recruitment is proving so difficult is that people keep talking about an NHS in crisis. Well he really needs to wake up and smell the coffee, because it is in crisis.
The ambulance service has again hit the headlines as stress is leading to increasing levels of sickness amongst staff. Targets here have become meaningless as they are hardly ever reached, and in RCT the performance is far worse than the Wales average.
This Wales Online article outlines the concerns of a paramedic
"We carry out our duties with the highest professionalism, but what really annoys staff are misconceptions from Welsh Assembly health ministers and our managers who continually report things are not as bad as they seem or are short-term problems.
Managers continue to report that they don't "close" ambulance stations and that stations are used as a storage facility for vehicles and equipment, but when you only have one ambulance in a station that isn't manned due to overtime cutbacks, sickness or managers foreseeing a drop in call volume based on historical 999 calls to that area, isn't that in effect a closed station?
During the past fortnight at least one ambulance station would have been closed due to funding or a restriction of overtime, resulting in some localities running half the number of crews on a weekend, especially in Swansea and Bridgend. I've always wondered how a service whose work is based around accidents can foresee where the next accident is going to happen - have they got next week's lottery numbers?"
It is time that the Labour Government stopped denying these problems exist and coming up with endless excuses and started taking action.

Today's Wales Online

Hip replacements

The ambulance service has again hit the headlines

This Wales Online article outlines the concerns of a paramedic

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