Speaking ahead of the publication of the Winter Plan for Wales NHS tomorrow (September 15), Welsh Conservative Andrew RT Davies MS has set out five questions he says must be addressed by the Health Minister.
Mr Davies, the Shadow Minister for Health, said:
“No-one could disagree that it’s been a tough six or so months for NHS Wales. The pandemic may be – that word again – ‘unprecedented’, but what are routine are the winter pressures our NHS always faces. These are likely to be made worse by Covid-19.
“And so, I have five questions that the Health Minister must answer:
1. Despite Covid and winter pressures, how confident is the Minister about services getting back into action?
2. What is the state of preparedness for ‘flu vaccinations, availability, and take up?
3. What has he done to ensure the ability and resilience of staff – social care and health – to withstand an attack from both Covid and winter pressure?
4. What has he done to develop Covid-free or ‘Covid-light’ hospitals to deal with the backlog of waiting times?
5. The most critical question is about testing. What has the Minister done to ensure a fast and effective testing regime that does these three things: keeps Covid isolated and out of hospitals and care homes; is flexible to respond to spikes in demand and builds capacity over time; and works right across Wales, not just in certain postcodes?
“I would have expected the Minister and his party to have delivered this plan – not despite, but because of Covid – before now, because we’re a fortnight into autumn, and winter is going to be on us soon enough.
“I hope to be reassured by his answers and his Winter Plan for NHS Wales, but past experience has taught me to expect to be disappointed.”