“New thinking” to address health crisis – Plaid Cymru offers “practical plan” to make “tangible difference” for staff and patients

Plaid Cymru has today (Tuesday 24 January) launched its plan to help tackle the crisis in the NHS in Wales.

The plan offers both immediate and longer-term solutions for the problems facing the health service and the party says that implementation of the plan will benefit staff, patients, and those that administer the service.

Adam Price MS, Leader of Plaid Cymru has said the plan offers “practical solutions” to “very real problems”.

Plaid Cymru’s health and care spokesperson Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said that the plan has been developed in conversation with the health sector and represents “the five things we believe can make a real difference.”

The plan will be debated in the Senedd on Wednesday 25 January as part of a call on Welsh Government to bring forward a strategy to reduce the pressures facing the NHS, with measures including, but not limited to:

  1. Pay: Providing a fair deal for NHS workers to create the foundations for a sustainable health and care service.
  2. Workforce Retention: Making our NHS an attractive place to work.
  3. Prevention: Significantly elevating the prominence and priority given to preventative health measures.
  4. Health and Social Care Interaction: Taking a sustainable approach to ensure a seamless move from health care to social care.
  5. Delivering the Recovery: Creating a resilient health and care service fit for the future.

Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, 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.”

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, 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 we believe can make a real difference. As well as the immediate difference that fair pay and adequate workforce planning will bring, there are also things Welsh Government should be doing better for the long-term. One example is preventative health care. This shouldn’t just be something mentioned once in passing from the Health Minister, but a core and explicit aim of all government policy and fully aligned with the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

“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.”