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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AM slams Welsh Government over its NHS management

The Welsh Labour Government has “catastrophically mismanaged our NHS”, claims the Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales Aled Roberts.

His criticism follows the publication of a report by the Wales Audit Office which reveals scheduled operations were postponed and hospital waiting lists allowed to grow as the Welsh NHS struggled to cut costs in the last year.
Managers balanced the books but need to save £404m this year, the report concludes.
Aled Roberts (pictured left), who is a member of the Welsh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, said: “The Welsh Labour Government explicitly warned that it would not bail out Health Boards that lost control of their finances. 

“Yet, the Welsh Labour Government went back on its word and dished out additional funding totalling £92 million.  As the report acknowledges, this inconsistency sends out unhelpful mixed messages.
“The Welsh NHS is under a colossal amount of strain.  The report notes that the NHS is likely to struggle to sustain current levels of service and performance. 
Wales has the longest ambulance waiting times in any part of mainland UK, cancer waiting times not met since 2008 and A&E targets that have never been met.  To think some of our NHS services could continue to deteriorate further is shocking. "
Mr Roberts slammed:The truth is the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically mismanaged our NHS and it is the people of Wales who are paying the price for Labour’s failure. 

“How can we expect Health Boards to be financially prudent when, as the report acknowledges, there are unfunded commitments in the Welsh Labour Government’s manifesto and programme for Government?
“Of course it’s important that Health Boards meet their financial targets.  But this isn’t just about money, it’s people’s lives that we are talking about. The report highlights that NHS bodies reduced activity to help manage financial pressures
“I found it particularly galling last week when the Health Minister congratulated Health Boards on their ‘careful financial management’.  This is despite knowing that Betsi Cadwaladr UHB was only able to do so by allowing waiting lists to grow and cancelling routine operations.
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the NHS "remains resilient" despite challenging circumstances.

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