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Author Archives: Tony Beddow

Tony Beddow, is a Visiting Professor at the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care and Chair of Socialist Health Association Wales

The Tories have repeatedly claimed that the Welsh Labour Government has made record-breaking cuts to the health budget since 2011.  But what’s the truth? Health spending in Wales: The Welsh Labour Government has invested an extra £1.1bn in the Welsh NHS over the last two years alone in additional cash support. In recurrent funding terms, this equates to an extra 9.1% or an extra £178 on health for every person in Wales. This includes recurrent revenue funding to meet the £200m funding gap identified by the Nuffield Trust report A Decade of Austerity in Wales? This is despite record-breaking cuts to […]
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Health and Social Care Briefing – July 2015  ACTS The Assembly has to date passed the following Acts of relevance to the health and social care community. Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 – 4th of March 2013 This Act includes provision for food authorities to operate a food hygiene rating scheme and places a duty on food businesses to display their food hygiene rating at their establishment. Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013 – 10th of September 2013 This Act aims to increase the number of organs and tissues available for transplant by introducing a soft opt-out system of organ […]
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(or You do your job and I’ll do mine).  The notion of referred pain, where the symptoms of a health problem manifest themselves in a part of the body that is not itself the cause of the suffering, is well known. The care system increasingly suffers the organisational equivalent but those managing it- unlike most doctors attending on patients – seem incapable of adequate diagnosis and effective treatment. The author once worked with a “radical” surgeon of whom it was said that he  never made a three inch incision if a two foot one was possible. One only sought his […]
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Resolution proposed at Welsh Labour Party Conference 14 February 2015 Conference notes increasing pressures upon NHS Wales – acute hospital care especially. Conference pays  tribute to NHS staff operating the service 24 hours a day and 365 days a year giving skilled and compassionate direct patient care. Conference notes that unlike private sector companies the NHS does not walk away from its commitments when the going gets tough. Conference offers its support to Welsh Government in  redesigning the total care system in Wales so that primary care services in general and family doctor services in particular are resourced to meet […]
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Yesterday the Prime Minister repeated in Parliament the canard – echoed by Welsh Tories-  that the Welsh Government has cut the funding of the Welsh NHS. Since 1979 both the Welsh office and Welsh Government are funded through the Barnett formula. Since 1979, every year this adds to the 1979 cash baseline about 5% of each sum the Treasury settlement (up or down) allocates for each of the English departmental spends where Wales has devolved responsibility. Barnett is a crude, arbitrary approach. It does not reflect “need”. The original baseline was never validated and it is difficult to police the […]
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The National Assembly for Wales debated the Cancer Treatment Fund on Wednesday. The Welsh Labour Government is clear that it will not be replacing existing evidence-based system with a cancer drugs fund like that in England, which its own chair has admitted provides funding for cancer drugs which have ‘no impact on survival’ and ‘uncertainty as to whether quality of life is improved or not’. All medicines approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) are made routinely available for patients in Wales. Medicines not approved by NICE or AWMSG […]
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The response of the Socialist Health Association (SHA) Cymru Wales 1. Purpose This deliberately short paper responds to the invitation to submit comments on the forthcoming Bill proposed by Kirsty Williams AM to ensure safe nurse staffing levels within Wales. It draws upon consultation with the membership of SHA Cymru Wales which culminated with a meeting of members on September 3rd 2014 at which four speakers from different perspectives explained in detail some of the issues that need to be considered. 2. The SHA SHA Cymru Wales is part of the UK Socialist Health Association which has over 700 individual […]
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Notes of Officers Meeting Tuesday 10th June 2014   Notes of last meeting were agreed Arising a)    Noted: the suggested meeting with Shadow Welsh Secretary  Owen Smith had not yet been arranged – action : secretary to chase. b) Launch of 10 Steps: the launch had gone well, with good support   from Labour AMs. Mike Hedges help in arranging it was welcomed, as was the interest and attendance of Mark Drakeford.         Interest had also been shown by the Welsh RCGP and this was  being followed up. National Council report back The Chair reported on the 7th June […]
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May  6th  2014 at Unite Offices Cardff Present: Alison Scouller, Philippa Ford, Tony Beddow Notes of last meeting – Notes of April 8th 2014 meeting were agreed. Arising a)  FOI Request UHW cardiac care Noted: NHS England had now supplied copies of correspondence from Welsh Government and Ms Charlotte Leslie MP regarding cardiac care in UHW. It was felt curious  that, for some reason, a copy of an apologetic  letter written by Ann Clwyd MP to Sir Bruce Keogh was included in the correspondence along with replies from Welsh Government officials. b) Meeting with Madeleine Brindley Chair and secretary reported […]
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Present: Alison Scouller, Philippa Ford, Tony Beddow     1.     Notes of last meeting – Notes of Feb  2014 meeting were agreed. 2.     Arising a) AGM 2014             The Chair reported the outcome of the AGM on 8th March. The posts of Chair and Secretary, and the 20 directly elected members of central council were all contested. Two Welsh nominations for directly elected  members (Dr Brian Gibbons and David Davies) were successful. Wales SHA Secretary was not elected to UK post. The motion applauding Prof. Pollock’s work on PFI and granting her life membership of the SHA was passed overwhelmingly. Although Proposals […]
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A Retort from Tony Beddow  The Welsh NHS has for weeks been attacked in the Commons by Cameron and Hunt being described as failing and a shambles. Now, on a weekend  when  the independent Nuffield Trust reported that NHS Wales compares well with the other UK health systems, Cameron compounded the crime by telling the Tory Conference that the Welsh border separated life and death. Both should apologise to the House for misleading it and correct the record. Cameron should apologise to Wales for the “line of death” slur. Faced with Nuffield Trust’s assessment  on Radio Wales 11th April, Welsh […]
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Statement by Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services Legislation has a strong history of contributing to improvements in the public’s health. I am today commencing a consultation on our proposals for a Public Health Bill, which seeks to continue this tradition. This builds on the wide-ranging and important debate started by our Public Health Green Paper in late 2012. I was encouraged that responses to the Green Paper highlighted a clear desire for us to explore further legislative opportunities for improving and protecting health. The responses had two main themes: one favouring an overarching approach which directs organisations […]
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