Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:32


NORTH Wales Assembly Member, Mark Isherwood, has hit out at Welsh Government plans to downgrade local health services.


Speaking in this afternoon’s Welsh Conservative Debateon ‘Together for Health – Why change is needed’,Mr Isherwood  said the Welsh Labour Government’s ‘Together for Health’ Paper, uses the same language and makes the same promises as their 2005 ‘Designed  for Life’ paper, which resulted in planned cuts and closures and caused public outcry and protest across Wales.



Mr Isherwood, who established the CHANT (Community Hospitals Acting Nationally Together) Campaign at the time of the last proposed cuts, said: “With this Welsh Labour Government’s ‘Together for Health’ Paper, it’s Groundhog Day in the Welsh NHS again. Using almost identical language to that in 2005, this states that their vision “is based around Community Services with patients at the centre … to ensure that it is capable of world class performance”. It’s as if they got the old document down off the shelf, dusted, rebranded and re-issued it, hoping we wouldn’t notice.”


He added: “Once again we see the grotesque sham of Welsh Labour politicians campaigning locally against plans to downgrade local health services and blaming Health Boards for implementing their own Party’s policies.


“Just as at the time of ‘Designed for Life,’ Welsh Conservatives believe in local health services for local people and reject any proposals to cut A&E departments and maternity services. Labour cynically kept its plans to downgrade local health services under wraps until after the Local Elections. 


“Following cuts in the Welsh budget by the last Labour UK Government, the then Labour-led Welsh Government cut Health spending by £435 million in 2010-11, long before the UK Coalition Government’s Spending Review.

“Labour now admit that their proposed changes are financially driven, but they are cutting the Welsh NHS by £548 million in real terms over 3 years – the deepest cuts of any UK Nation.

“This year’s cut is the biggest in the history of the Welsh NHS. Yet this needn’t have been the case. The UK Government provided funding for the English NHS to protect its budget in real terms and gave the Welsh Labour Government funding so that it could do the same.  It failed to pass this on to our Welsh NHS.”


Mr Isherwood concluded his speech by referring to concerns about the NHS raised with him by North Wales constituents including  Flintshire’s Over 50s Action Group (see notes below).



Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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