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Author Archives: Jim Gralton

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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A Healthier Wales (June 2018) is the Welsh Government’s response to the  Parliamentary Review of the future of Health and Social Care in Wales. It promises a programme of transformative whole system change with a move to a service that focused on health, well-being and prevention – a ‘wellness’ system, which aims to support and anticipate health needs, to prevent illness, and to reduce the impact of poor health and inequality. A key part of the this transformation will be delivered through local primary and community care clusters working with both Local Health and Regional Partnership Boards. There will be […]
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The life long member of the Socialist Health Association, Dr Julian Tudor Hart died on July 1st 2018. The following is the funeral tribute paid to him by Dr Brian Gibbons who worked with Julian in the Upper Afan Valley Group Practice  in south Wales. ========================================================================================= There is no great forest that is made up of a single tree, no great river made from a single tributary or no great mountain range with single peak. And as we come here to remember and commemorate the life of Julian Tudor Hart—we realise what a multi-faceted individual he was. He embraced and […]
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The Welsh Government has announced its intention to increase Welsh GP training positions by  a further 18%. This follows a significant increase in the fill rate for training posts, which this year has already seen 155 places already filled against the target of 136.g The Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, has now asked Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) to review the number of places in Wales to ensure a skilled workforce is in place to meet the aims of A Healthier Wales to provide care closer to home and reduce pressure on hospitals. The target fill rate for GP training […]
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Further investment in Welsh general practice  has been promised  following negotiations for the 2019-20 General Medical Services (GMS) contract – which is worth over £536.6m. Additional funding will also be made available this year to cover the rising costs of pensions, following changes made by the UK government according to the press released from the Welsh Government. The funding will mean an increase per patient in Wales from the current contract, from £86.75 to £90. The new value per patient is also more than offered in England. The contract reforms the way in which services operate with a much stronger […]
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