Royal College of Physicians Report

Dydd Mercher, 26 Medi 2012
Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Mark Drakeford: Pa asesiad y mae’r Gweinidog wedi’i wneud o ba mor berthnasol i Gymru yw Adroddiad Coleg Brenhinol y Ffisigwyr, ‘Hospitals on the edge? The time for action’.

[What assessment has the Minister made of the relevance to Wales of the Royal College of Physicians Report, ‘Hospitals on the edge? The time for action’.]


Lesley Griffiths: The report confirms what we have known for some time: the status quo is not an option and health services need to change if they are to be safe and sustainable for patients in the future.


Mark Drakeford: The ‘Hospitals on the edge?’ report echoes exactly the case for change in the NHS that you have articulated here ever since the start of the fourth Assembly: an ageing population, increasing demand and a looming crisis in the medical workforce leading to an urgent need to redesign services both within hospitals and between them—and all this at a time when, as the report says, public expenditure cuts have an inevitable impact on the NHS. The subtitle of the report is ‘The time for action’; what action are you taking to ensure that the NHS in Wales is fit to meet the medical and financial challenges that the Royal College of Physicians so clearly set out?


Lesley Griffiths: My officials constantly monitor performance, delivery and finances in the NHS. We have very robust accountability mechanisms in place, which obviously hold health boards to account for their performance. If I can just touch on finance, I have stated time and again that it is my strong expectation that they fulfil their statutory responsibilities and come in on budget. However, I have mentioned before that we have had an inprecedented and unparalleled demand on services over the summer, right across Wales, so I thought it timely, as we approach the mid-point of the financial year at the end of September, that we have the opportunity to take stock of the situation in NHS Wales. I have asked my director general to undertake a mid-year review looking at the resource pressures on the NHS, and that includes performance, delivery and finance. It is important that, even in light of these difficult financial times, we continue to deliver high-quality and sustainable services.