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Author Archives: Jim Gralton

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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It is over 40 years since the Alma-Ata Declaration asserted the crucial role of primary care in the promotion of the health of people world wide. Since then global health policy has attempted to give effect to the Declaration with varying levels of success. The situation has been no different in Wales. The Wanless Review in 2003 re-emphasised this message. It stated “ …(t)he current configuration of health services places an insupportable burden on the acute sector and its workforce. This is the most expensive part of the system … (t)he primary care sector in turn is not sufficiently resourced […]
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DELIVERED AT JULIAN HART’S FUNERAL — JUNE 16th 2018   Julian and I were chatting once about heaven and hell, as you do. He didn’t believe in either, but supposing he was wrong, he thought he might be allowed into heaven, not as a believer, you understand, but for good behaviour. Julian always wanted to be a doctor in a mining village, partly because his father had been a colliery doctor in Llanelli; partly it was the romance of mining practice as popularised in AJ Cronin ‘s novel The Citadel; but mainly it was the sort of community to which […]
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In the two decades since the publication of the Sutherland Royal Commission report on long-term care the issues around the cost of caring for an ageing population remains one of the major issues in public policy. And we remain no nearer to its resolution. While varying elements of catering for long-term care remain the responsibility of the UK Government, devolution has allowed a fair level innovation and diversity in approach including the introduction of free personal care in Scotland which was one of the main recommendations of the Sutherland Commission. In Wales the National Assembly’s Finance Committee has recently published […]
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