Posted: Tue 24th Jan 2023

Updated: Tue 24th Jan

Plaid Cymru reveals five-point plan to tackle NHS crisis in Wales

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 24th, 2023

Plaid Cymru has today revealed a plan aimed at helping to tackle the crisis in the NHS in Wales.

The party claims that the implementation of the strategy will benefit staff, patients, and those that administer the service.

Plaid leader Adam Price said the plan offers “practical solutions” to “very real problems”.

The proposals to reduce pressures on the NHS are focused on five key areas as follows:

  • Pay: Providing a fair deal for NHS workers to create the foundation for a sustainable health and care service.
  • Workforce retention: Making our NHS an attractive place to work.
  • Prevention: Significantly elevating the prominence and priority given to preventative health measures.
  • Health and social care interaction: Taking a sustainable approach to ensure a seamless service.
  • Delivering the recovery: Creating a resilient health and care service fit for the future.

The plan will be debated in the Senedd tomorrow (Wednesday 25 January) as part of a call for the Welsh Government to bring forward a strategy to tackle problems within the health system.

Last week, the Labour-led government was urged to “get a grip” on the NHS crisis by its opponents after the latest performance figures showed increasingly long waits for ambulances and A&E treatment for patients in Wales. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌​​​

Mr Price said: “There is a health crisis in Wales for which new thinking is required – a health crisis which Welsh Government cannot admit exists in the first place.

“But when ambulance response times and emergency department waiting times are at an all-time high, and workers are taking to the picket line over unfair pay and unsafe working conditions, then the question has to be asked: If this isn’t a crisis, then how much worse are they expecting it to get?

“I’ve said before that no one party has a monopoly on good ideas, but when the Tories offer privatisation, and Labour offer nothing, then Plaid Cymru is the one group in the Senedd offering practical solutions to the very real problems we’re facing in Wales.

“There is so much that needs to be done following two decades of Labour mis-management, but our plan offers five things that we believe will make a real and positive difference to everyone across the health service – front line workers, patients and those that administer it.”

The party’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth, said: “Plaid Cymru’s proposals get to the heart of the issue. NHS workers are the bedrock of our health service but that foundation has been shaken by years of real terms pay cuts and lack of adequate workforce planning.

“Paying them a fair wage has to be at the start of the process and that’s why it’s the first point in our plan. Without our health and care workers, we have no NHS.

“Of course, the scale of the challenge means we could just as easily create a 25-point plan, but we’ve focused on five things that we believe can make a real difference.

“These aren’t our ideas, but the result of listening to the people on the front line and the organisations that represent them.

“Our plan addresses the real concerns they have with the way the health service is currently being managed and offers five deliverable steps that will make a tangible difference to all involved.”

Speaking in the Senedd chamber today, First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was willing to listen to the suggestions.

He said: “I’ve had a brief opportunity to have a look at the plan that Plaid Cymru published today.

“What the pressure on the ambulance service means is that demand for health services over the winter has been very great—greater than at any time in the history of the NHS. We have a plan already.

“Of course, we’re willing to consider the points in the Plaid Cymru plan to see whether there is more that can be done.

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