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Author Archives: Jim Gralton

In September 2020 the Welsh Government invited comments on the draft regulations, code of practice and statutory guidance from local authorities, local health boards, and other organisations or sectors which are represented on Regional Partnership Boards (RPBs) or have an interest in the provision of care and support to the local population. RPBs are the main Welsh platforms of collaboration between health, social care, the Third Sector and a range of other key stakeholders. The Socialist Health Association – Cymru agreed its repose to the consultation questions as follows:- Question 1 Do you agree that market stability reports should be […]
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A recent study by the Bevan Foundation has called for the establishment of a “ Welsh Benefits System”. It found that over £400 million in welfare type payments are distributed by devolved bodies but that the system  lacks coherence and does not operate in a strategically focused way. Just over half of all public expenditure in Wales is undertaken by devolved bodies e.g. Welsh Government, NHS, housing, and local government. The bulk of the remainder is through welfare payments which constitute over one third of all Welsh public expenditure. While the overwhelming bulk of these these payments are administered and […]
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Attached is the advice / guidance just published by Public Health Wales’ TAC advisory group. It reports that infection and transmission rates are higher than previously thought, though the mechanism for this is not well understood. Preventive measures such as social distancing, hygiene, face masks for older pupils ( and encouraged in younger pupils) and ventilation must be instituted. Health education should promote good practice outside the classroom and school. The potential of asymptomatic testing should be considered. It argues that teaching is a low risk occupation and that school closures are a relatively weak anti-spread measure. In view of […]
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This is a very good leader in the Guardian on the need for change in social care and some of the issues that need to be addressed. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/25/the-guardian-view-on-the-social-care-crisis-fix-a-broken-system

The Welsh Government is proposing to use its legislative powers to require local authorities and Local Health Boards to  produce a market stability assessment report on the social care sector  in their Regional Partnership Board (RPB) area. The legislation will be supplemented by a code of practice on the exercise of relevant functions in relation to market stability reports and statutory guidance on taking a partnership approach to preparing and publishing market stability reports. This innovative piece of legislation is welcomed by the Social Health Association Cymru – Wales which has responded to the Welsh Government consultation document. ================================================================ Response […]
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The current business model for social care in Wales, like the rest of the UK, is under extreme pressure. This vulnerability has predated the present Covid-19 pandemic. Care Forum Wales, the main representative body for the private care sector, has claimed that Wales could lose half its care homes within a year unless urgent action is taken. A Care Forum Wales survey also reported that 84% of respondents said low pay made it difficult for the recruitment of staff. Responding to these long standing concerns the Welsh Government commissioned the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care to study the […]
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At this stage a debate about the post-Brexit UK Internal / Single Market is unlikely to generate much heat or light – expect for possibly amongst a select band of constitutional lawyers and academics and the most committed of political anoraks. And yet the UK government’s July white paper on the subject has the potential to radically re-fashion how public services are delivered across the UK and to finally precipitate the disintegration of the United Kingdom. The implications of the Northern Ireland Backstop will be small beer compared to the possible fallout from these UK Internal / Single Market proposals. […]
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The contact tracing programme in Wales is called “Test, Trace and Protect” (TTP) which emphasises the purpose of the exercise i.e to protect individuals, families and communities. This provides a better focus that “Test, Track and Trace” in England which seems to focus on the process rather than its purpose. The Welsh programme is firmly based on a partnership / public service model. The population of Wales is about 3.1 million people ( approx. 55.5 million in England ). The internal market have been abolished in the Welsh NHS over a decade ago. Health care is delivered through seven unitary […]
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Today the Welsh  First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said that all care workers in Wales will received a £500 payment which will provide recognition for an often “under-valued and overlooked” workforce.The payment will be available to some 64,600 care home workers and domiciliary care workers throughout Wales. It comes after the Welsh Government has provided an initial £40m extra funding for adult social care services to help meet the extra costs associated with responding to the coronavirus pandemic. This extra funding was, in the first instance, intended to meet the extra costs to providers for responding to the care needs of […]
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Today the Welsh Government updated its approach to easing of public health measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. The framework will help to determine when the strict stay-at-home restrictions can begin to be relaxed in Wales and will help to find a way for people in Wales to live and work alongside coronavirus. A Wales-wide programme of surveillance, case identification, and contact tracing is being developed through the office of the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton. This will highlight the importance of community testing and support the containment of emerging coronavirus infections as and when restrictions are eased. Launching the […]
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The solidarity expressed through weekly applause for the NHS, carers and key workers has been truly inspiring, and a great source of support for all staff.  But we need those in power to do more than just clap for us. The NHS and local authorities have been starved of resources for the last ten years. The current crisis has been worsened by a decade of government hostility towards a publicly funded health service. Low staffing levels are a direct result of budget cuts and limits on pay. We cannot go back to an NHS that lurches from winter crisis to […]
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On April 16th 2020 the First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford, confirmed the joint decision of COBRA to continue with the current UK wide restrictions on movement for another three weeks to protect the NHS and so to save lives. He said that while there were some positive signs in the data from the epidemic it was still too soon change course in how Wales was dealing with Covid 19. The First Minister said that this three weeks should provide an opportunity to consider the context in which we could consider moving to the next phase of easing the present […]
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