Thursday, 19 July 2012

The health minister and NHS downgrading

In November 2011 Health Minister Lesley Griffiths was adamant there would be no downgrading, claiming that no district general hospitals will close. That has never been the case – what we have seen today is some community hospitals closing, specialist services being cut and none of the safeguards she was giving last year:
“None will be downgraded,” she told BBC Radio Wales. “I don’t want to hear anything about downgrading. What we want to see is improved services right across Wales.”
 “If services are taken out of a district general hospital and put into the community or elsewhere, they have to be better services and there has to be good clinical evidence,” she added.
 Ms Griffiths said that if a patient wants a better outcome “they may have to travel that bit further and at the end of the day, surely that’s what patients want for themselves”.
 The minister said further details were expected before the end of the year. “I haven’t seen any of the plans yet. The plans will be coming to me later this month to have a look at and until then we don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.
Well, the plans have arrived and even Labour MPs like David Hanson are kicking off about the closure of Flint Hospital. Will Ann Jones and Chris Ruane speak up for Glan Clwyd losing its intensive care cots and emergency surgery?

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