“Welsh Labour Government still failing patients in North Wales”

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, Aled Roberts, has today called on the First Minister to address staff shortages in the NHS in North Wales. The situation has been described as a ‘crisis’, with millions of pounds a year being spent by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board on agency staff to cover falling nurse numbers.

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, Aled Roberts, has today called on the First Minister to address staff shortages in the NHS in North Wales. The situation has been described as a ‘crisis’, with millions of pounds a year being spent by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board on agency staff to cover falling nurse numbers.

Speaking following questions to the First Minister today, Aled Roberts said:

“Despite knowing for years that Wales has an ageing population and decreasing numbers of GPs and nurses, the Welsh Labour Government has catastrophically failed to make sure that effective workforce planning could avert this crisis.

“Instead, we are in a situation where BCUHB has spent more than £10 million on agency nurses between 2011 and 2014.

“Figures obtained by the Welsh Liberal Democrats under the Freedom of Information Act show that more than half of that money, almost £6 million, was spent in just the first eleven months of 2014.

“On top of this, the Welsh Government has reduced the number of nurses being trained whilst failing to act on recommendations from the profession to ensure an increase in the number of doctors being trained. The Welsh Government must also evaluate Health Board future workforce plans to fill any gaps created by new immigration rules that mean visas for some nurses will run out next year.

“Coupled with the fact that GP numbers in North Wales continue to show significant signs of pressure, the Welsh Labour Government must now take urgent steps to work constructively with the BCUHB Board to promote careers in the health service before the whole system grinds to a complete halt”.


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