In uncompromising language, Penarth Labour AM Vaughan Gething – the Welsh Labour Government’s beleaguered Health Minister – has been told to “pull his finger out” .
Gething – said by some to have ambitions to succeed Carwyn Jones as Labour Leader in Wales – is coming in for criticism because the NHS in Wales ( for which he is responsible) is not being provided with the necessary funding .
The Welsh Director of the Royal College of Nursing , Tina Donnelly, has said politicians must find a better way of financing the NHS if it is to continue to meet demand.
Ms Donnelly says nurses have been left feeling that they are unable to fulfil their duty of care and has warned that they could quit – leaving the NHS without enough staff.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies ( AM for South Wales Central which includes Penarth) said: “We know there’s spiralling demand within the Welsh NHS, if we don’t have the staff to meet the demand waiting times will increase.”.
Today Mr Davies is reported to have called on Welsh Labour Health Minister Vaughan Gething to “pull his finger out and get on top of this”.
The Welsh Labour Government says there are currently 29,345 nurses, midwives and health visitors in the NHS in Wales – but Ms Donnelly is calling for a review of NHS staffing to “make sure staff are not put under relentless pressure so that they leave”.
Ms Donnelly says the bottom line is that the NHS will cease to exist if there aren’t sufficient staff to meet the demand .
Vaughan Gething has said that the number of staff employed “will fluctuate over the year as nurses retire and new graduates come into the system, but health boards are reporting more nurses joining the profession than leaving, with overall numbers continuing to increase.”.
Even though the Welsh Labour Government is entirely responsible for the NHS in Wales, and cut its funding, Gething – like all Welsh Labour ministers blames what he calls the UK Government’s “Eight years of UK government austerity”.
The Prime Minister Theresa May however has pointed out that the NHS in Wales consistently misses its targets and it was the the Welsh Labour Government – not Westminster – that cut spending on the NHS in Wales [PDN Note: The Welsh Labour Government cut spending in real terms on the NHS in Wales by 3.6% between 2009-10 and 2012-13 ]