The Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth – Health Minister Vaughan Gething – has announced that in the future sick people in Wales will ONLY be admitted to hospital “when it is essential” – otherwise they should stay home.
The statement is the latest from the heavily-criticised Welsh Labour Health Minister who is struggling to control the National Health Service in Wales.
Vaughan Gething says “We …[ it’s not clear exactly who the “we” he is talking about are] …have to move on from the idea that the hospital is the first or best place for you to be when you are unwell.”
“That isn’t always the case” – says Gething (who is a solicitor with no medical qualifications) “especially when there are a range of local services that will allow you to remain safely at home.” He says patients should only to hospital when it is “essential” and more care should be provided in communities or at home.
Under what is described as a “New National Transformation Programme” changes in the NHS will be “kick started” across Wales.
- Instead of antibiotics being administered to patients in hospital, the Welsh Labour Government says than soon “a nurse will be giving you antibiotics at home”.[It’s not clear whether this home treatment would include drips and cannulas]
- Consultant doctors will hold appointments with patients “on a video link from home or a GP surgery” cutting out the need to travel to a hospital clinic for a face-to-face diagnosis [This proposal appears to ignore the fact that very often consultants need to physically examine their patients]
- It’s proposed that medical “scans” could take place at “your local community surgery” [ a proposal which appears to suggest a huge investment in technology at GP surgeries]
Vaughan Gething claims the new arrangements will be what he calls “a revolution from within the Health Service” .
The virtually leaderless Welsh Labour Government says what are called “Regional Panel Boards” – comprising local councils, local health boards and “voluntary representatives” will “drive this work to bring health and social care work more seamlessly together”, find the most innovative new ways of working in local areas and “scale them up quickly to work across all of Wales”.
A “centralised NHS executive” is to be created which will sit above the health boards to “speed up decision-making about national issues – including the future shape of hospital and specialist services.” .
The Welsh Labour Government says the public is to be part of a “continuous dialogue” about the future of services – but quite how this consultative process will operate has not been specified.