Monday, 1 June 2015

Labour accuse its critics over Welsh NHS of being "Triumphalist"

Maybe if there was one factor that cost "Welsh" Labour seats in Wales to the Conservatives it was their handling of the Welsh NHS ironically a devolved power.

It may well be the reason why First Minister Carwyn Jones was put on the back burner during the General Election campaign .

With the Assembly Election coming next year the Welsh NHS wil become even more prominent an iissue in the run up.

This may well be why the deputy health minister has warned opponents not to treat a damning report into a Denbighshire mental health ward as a "party political triumph".
Vaughan Gething said "institutional abuse" found at Glan Clwyd Hospital's Tawel Fan unit was not typical of the NHS care received by patients.
Families said patients at Tawel Fan were treated like animals in a zoo.

The independent investigation found

  • Patients nursed on the floor
  • A lack of professional, dignified and compassionate care
  • Unsupervised patients
  • An environment which does not promote independence, resulting in restraint
  • Regimes/routine/practice on the ward which may violate individual patients' human rights
Asked if the findings were damaging for Labour, Mr Gething said:
 "I think that families affected by what happened in Tawel Fan will take real exception to people trying to use what happened there as somehow a party political failing or a party political triumph on one side or another.
"This is about families who've been let down by a service that could and should have served them and their loved ones properly and in this case it did not.
"That stands in stark contrast to the regular pattern of care that people receive day in and day out right across Wales.
"I think any minister in this department of any political party would be appalled as I am as to what happened and would have a clear expectation that the health board properly address in a timely manner the failings that have been revealed and laid bare for the wider public to see."
Last  year, at the Welsh Conservative conference, David Cameron described Offa’s Dyke, the historic boundary between England and Wales, as a line “between life and death”.
The comment was made during a speech in which the Prime Minister was highly critical of the Welsh Government’s decision not to establish a designated fund for cancer drugs.
More recently the Conservative-supporting Daily Mail  launched repeated attacks on the Welsh NHS, claiming it provides poorer services to patients than the health service in England.

It appears to have been a tactic that worked last May and Labour's hope that it could appeal to Welsh Patriotism to hide their mismanagement  from attacks from Westminster seems to have fallen flat.

Now Labours tactic seem to be accusing the Welsh Labour government handling of the Welsh NHS  is going to be dismissed as the opposition  as gloating over the numerous failures throughout Wales.

Whilst I have no time for opposition members being critical of the Welsh Government without offering any real plans themselves apart for pumping more money into it. It is appalling for a minister to try and divert real criticism by accusing political opponents of triumphalism.

Labour's  handling of the Welsh NHS has ben wanting . Some of it is due to factors beyond its control but it is the duty of the opposition to point this out and this means seizing on issue like Tawel Fan so be it.

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