The Welsh Labour Government has been warned today not to allow another repeat of the chaos which descended on local GP out-of-hours services last Christmas.
The warning has come from Penarth’s Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies who has called for action from the Health Minister Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Labour Government to prevent a repeat of what Mr Davies calls the “appalling failures” of out-of-hours GP services over the 2017 Christmas period .
The situation was so bad last Christmas that the Cardiff and the Vale University Health – which is run by Labour Party appointees – was unable to cope with the demand and was forced to entirely suspend its out-of-hours services to new patients on Christmas Eve and on December 30th last year.
Throughout December 2017 – no fewer than 28% of all out-of-hours shifts went unfilled and the maximum waiting for a GP visit rose to 30 hours.
Next Wednesday Welsh Conservatives have called a debate in the National Assembly to demand that the Welsh Labour Government brings forward a comprehensive national plan to address the pressures.
Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central – which includes Penarth) said “Last year – the Christmas period saw a complete breakdown of out-of-hours GP services in Cardiff and the Vale – with new patients turned away completely on Christmas Eve. This is due to the shambolic management of health services by the Welsh Labour Government – and is completely unacceptable.”
Mr Davies says “Lessons must be learned – and action must be taken to stop it happening again. Welsh Labour ministers need to get a grip of the situation and bring forward a robust plan so patients do not face similar experiences this Christmas.”