Saturday, 11 September 2010

Where has Peter Hain been?

We always thought that Peter Hain lived in a world of his own and this article in today's Western Mail just goes to prove it.

Hain is complaining that Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board are running down services in Hain's constituency Neath Port Talbot and transferring them to Morriston Hospital in Swansea. Well he is not alone in that concern we have written in this blog about our concerns that services at Ysbyty Maelor are being run down and transferred to Bodelwydden and Bangor.

Whilst all this is going on the Chief Executives of the seven Health Boards (Five of whom are Labour apparatchik's) have their hands tied by the dictatorial health minister Edwina Hart preventing them from reducing surplus managerial posts in the seven health boards following the amalgamation 12 months ago.

Why is it that the only ones complaining of waste in the Welsh NHS are a couple of Plaid Councillors in North East Wales and two backbench AM's Rhodri Glyn Thomas and Chris Franks?

This is what Rhodri Glyn Thomas had to say:
"Obviously there has been a commitment to safeguard frontline spending on health and schools, but I believe there is still a lot of scope even within the health and education to tackle waste,”

“It was completely ridiculous, for example, to reorganise the NHS in Wales nine years ago creating 22 local health boards. That meant 22 chief executives, 22 finance directors and 22 medical directors.

“All that happened was that in many cases middle managers were over-promoted into jobs with salaries of £100,000 and more.

“The original error was compounded when the reorganisation was reversed and senior managers were allowed to stay on with their big salaries, even though their jobs had disappeared.

“In my local area of Carmarthenshire, the county council has just announced it is looking at cutting 500 jobs. It’s the relatively low-paid workers they are planning to cut. How about the people at the top, who are on very high salaries?”

This is how the Western Mail reported on Chris Franks's Freedom of Information request on pay protection:
Senior NHS executives who failed to win top jobs in Wales’ new health boards will have their six-figure salaries protected for up to 10 years, it emerged today.

Under the organisational change policy, negotiated with trade unions, more than 120 former NHS directors and managers have been redeployed elsewhere in the health service and the Welsh Assembly Government.

And they will have their salaries – which could be as high as £195,000 a year – protected for years.

Those directors who have 15 years of service in the NHS will continue to be paid their old salary, plus benefits, for 10 years, according to information obtained by Plaid Cymru.

The revelation comes as the NHS in Wales is facing the prospect of making unprecedented savings of £1.9bn over the next five years as public sector funding is slashed.

And it follows the news last week that rank-and-file NHS staff in one of Wales’ largest organisations have had a cap put on overtime payments in a bid to save money.

At least three of Wales’ seven health boards are introducing bans on agency and locum staff, while others are carrying out reviews of hospital services which could result in cuts.

So here we have it Mr Hain, front line services being cut back to save money whilst still employing senior executives in non existent jobs; a decision made by a minister in Mr Hain's own party and one that the Welsh Labour Party have failed to challenge and that includes the First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Edwina Hart's dictatorial running of the Welsh NHS needs challenging, it is bureaucratic and wasteful and there MUST be an expectation amongst rank and file Plaid Cymru members that their ministers in the One Wales Government bring Edwin Hart to task over this fiasco of a reorganisation.

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