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Labour’s ostrich mentality won’t solve NHS problems

The A&E figures for December 2016 in Wales have been published and they do not make pretty reading. Whilst the Labour Health Minister continues to deny that the NHS in Wales is facing any sort of crisis, the figures and feedback from both medical staff and patients tell a different tale.

In December only 82.9% of patients attending A&E at the Royal Glamorgan were dealt with within the four hour target time and 82.5% at Prince Charles. 165 people waited more than 12 hours at the Royal Glamorgan. A significant number of these, as we already know from previous press coverage, may have spent the night on a trolley in a corridor because of a lack of beds.

In the case of the Royal Glamorgan these figures, though, are an improvement upon November when only 78.3% were attended to in under four hours and 302 people spent more than 12 hours in the department.

Speaking to the BBC, the Deputy Chairman of the BMA in Wales said:

"We've lost about 40% of the bed numbers in Wales over the last 15 years - like in England - so when there's a surge you haven't the capacity to cope," he said.

"The problems then knock on and even when you get back to more normal levels you have all the backlogs - you can't get people out of hospital because of social care cuts and difficulties in getting people back into their own environment.

"There are then all the concerns about extra overcrowding so you get more hospital-acquired infections - it becomes perfect a storm because of the additional numbers we're not set up to deal with."

Yet the Labour party still deny there are major problems here in Wales under their control, and until they admit they exist then how can they hope to solve them? Instead we see endless hypocrisy form them as the UK party attacks NHS provision across the border in England, never once stopping to consider that the service is every bit as stretched and mismanaged by government here too. They rely on the fact that many people still don't understand devolution and don't realise that the Tories don't run the health service in Wales - Labour do.