Deeside MP Mark Tami seeks reassurances over crisis hit NHS
Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami is seeking reassurances from health chiefs in England and Wales over the NHS.
Mr Tami has written to both the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething AM, and the Health Secretary in England, Jeremy Hunt MP, seeking assurances for local NHS services “amidst one of the worse crises to ever hit the NHS.”
There have been calls this week for Jeremy Hunt to resign from his position after the Red Cross confirmed it was providing support and warned of a “humanitarian crisis” in the health service.
A number of Deeside residents have voiced their concerns to Mark Tami, particularly after reports before Christmas that 1 in 3 AEs were set to be closed.
Vaughan Gething responded outlining the Welsh Government’s commitment to ‘deliver high quality, sustainable health services’ that are regularly ‘reviewed to ensure they meet the needs of their resident population’.
He also confirmed that the Welsh Government ‘has no plans to close AE units in Wales’.
The Department for Health responded explaining their redesign of frontline health services.
The Countess is currently part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Sustainability and Transformation Plan that ‘sets out the priorities for healthcare in the region’, and is currently at early development stage.
Mark Tami said;
It has been well documented that the NHS is at breaking point. I wrote to both central and Welsh Government on behalf of constituents who were concerned for local services.
I was pleased with their responses, however I know it would be naïve to sit back and take that as gospel.
I will continue to fight for the NHS services in our area and challenge the Government in Westminster on underfunding and encroaching privatisation.
I recently had a very productive meeting with the Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, Gary Doherty, and also from what I know of Vaughan Gething, I believe health in North Wales, and Wales as a whole, is in good hands.
I will continue to monitor developments of the Cheshire and Merseyside STP closely as I know a number of constituents rely on services at the Countess.
Despite reassurances given to the Alyn and Deeside MP a senior Welsh doctor has said Accident & Emergency units across Wales are in a “state of crisis.”
Dr Robin Roop, the vice president of Royal College of Emergency Medicine in Wales said patient safety is being compromised and staff are struggling to cope with huge.
With the Red Cross describing the situation as a “humanitarian crisis” in English hospitals Dr Roop says in Wales some areas performance “is as bad, if not worse, as England.” He said:
Emergency care in Wales is in a state of crisis. Welsh emergency departments are fighting unprecedented levels of demand resulting in declining four-hour standards, overcrowding and ‘exit block’. Performance is as bad, if not worse, as England, in some areas.
Our staff are struggling to cope with the intense demands being put upon them and, more importantly, patient safety is undoubtedly compromised during this busy time.
The need for wider investment in emergency care as well as in primary and social care has never been more vital so that our fragile emergency systems are protected and our patients receive the best possible care.
Welsh Conservatives have responded to the comments, made by Dr Robin Roop, by saying that the Welsh NHS needs an all-year-round solution to the problems facing A&E.
Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Health, said that Dr Roop’s comments reinforced the severity of the situation in Wales, and called for more investment in primary and social care. Ms Burns said:
It is no secret that A&E services across the country are under pressure this winter, but to hear one of our leading physicians say that units in Wales are faring worse than their English equivalents really hammers home the severity of the situation here.
Months ago, in an inquiry, the RCEM voiced their concerns about health boards’ lack of preparedness for winter, but it seems the Welsh Government did not listen.
After nearly two decades in charge of the health service, Welsh Labour has a lot to answer for. Wales now has the highest rate of excess winter deaths in the country – higher than any region in England; A&E waiting times haven’t been met since 2008; and the number of NHS hospital beds have plummeted by 30% since devolution began.
Though amplified, the problems facing A&E units are not isolated to winter, and we urgently need workable solutions to alleviate pressures all year round, so that patients can get the best possible care.
This should begin with greater investment in primary and social care, which will help physicians and care workers to better manage patients’ non-life threatening conditions so that they do not needlessly become the responsibility of A&E services.
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