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NHS elections to replace Carwyn’s cronies

Figures uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives have revealed the extent of Labour cronyism in the Welsh NHS.

75% of all Chairs, Vice Chairs and members of Welsh NHS Trusts and Local Health Boards who have declared affiliation to a political party, are members of the Labour Party.

Three Chairs or Vice Chairs of the seven Local Health Boards are affiliated to the Labour Party, compared to just one for all other political parties in Wales.

Welsh Conservatives have called for the direct election of seven Health Commissioners, one in each Local Health Board area, who would replace the LHB chairs, who are currently hand-picked by Labour Ministers.

The Party argues direct elections could democratise the Welsh NHS by giving communities a say over how their local services are run and draw a line under Labour’s damaging centralisation agenda.

In total, 9 out of 79 members of LHB and NHS Trust boards have declared political activity for the Labour Party compared to one Lib Dem declaration, two for Plaid Cymru and none for any other party.

Labour activists make up 13% of all appointments to Welsh Local Health Boards and NHS Trusts.

Darren Millar AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister, said, “These figures reveal how Labour Ministers have been giving well-remunerated top NHS jobs to Labour Party apparatchiks.

“There are serious questions about why there have been three times as many Labour Party appointments as there have been for all the political parties put together.

“Members of political parties may have much to give in terms of public service in the NHS, but patients must have confidence in NHS chiefs who are making important decisions about medical services in their area.

“Against a backdrop of drastic change in NHS services with community hospital closures, A&E unit downgrades, hospital centralisation, patients do not have confidence in Local Health Board chiefs and it is time for democratic reform.

“Welsh Conservatives believe that communities know what is best for their area, rather than Labour Ministers and their cronies, and that’s why we want the public to decide who runs their local health services.

“Directly elected health commissioners could end the murky process of Labour hand-picked appointments and introduce much needed trust and accountability to NHS reform.

“I want the public to hire and fire NHS chiefs and hold them to account for abiding by their promises.

“At the next election voters will have a clear choice between a centralising Labour Party that believes it knows best and the Welsh Conservatives who trust and empower ordinary people to deliver local services for local people.”