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£2 million upgrade for emergency waiting rooms in Wales announced

11 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan.

£2m to upgrade emergency department waiting areas this winter has been announced by the Welsh Government.   

The improvements will provide facilities in hospital emergency departments, including improved seating, information screens, better access to water or food stations and improvements to Wi-Fi and electrical charging points.

The funding is in addition to plans the Welsh Government, NHS and local government have put in place to prepare for winter. These include recruiting 100 new ambulance clinicians and changes to staff rosters to improve ambulance response times.

Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan said: “None of us want to go to hospital, but if we need to this extra investment to improve emergency department waiting rooms should make the experience a little easier.”

The announcement comes as the Welsh Government today, October 11, publishes its plan for seasonal respiratory viruses, including coronavirus, this autumn and winter.

‘Our Public Health Approach to Respiratory Viruses’ outlines how the NHS and care services are preparing ahead of an anticipated seasonal peak in demand.

The plans include:

  • Protecting the most vulnerable from serious disease
  • Acting quickly to respond to changing circumstances, including re-introducing stronger advice, such as wearing face coverings and additional Covid testing, if cases rise sharply
  • Partnering with Public Health Wales to ensure surveillance of infectious viruses
  • Protecting people who are at greatest risk by offering free flu and Covid-19 vaccines.

Planning assumptions for this winter are based on the assumption that levels of flu and other respiratory viruses will be higher this winter, compared to the last two years. The circulation of respiratory viruses – such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) – have been lower during the pandemic due to social restrictions. 

‘Challenging period’

The Minister said: “Winter is always a busy and challenging period for our health and care services, but we plan throughout the year to ensure they are as prepared as possible.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic hasn’t gone away and over the last fortnight there’s been a rise in infections in the community and in hospital admissions. Vaccination remains our best defence against both coronavirus and flu. Tens of thousands of people are being vaccinated every week and it’s never too late to be vaccinated.

“We can take a few simple steps to help us stay well this winter – like washing our hands often, wearing a face covering in crowded indoor places and staying at home if we’re ill, as well as getting our annual flu jab and Covid booster if we’re eligible.”


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Owain
Owain
1 month ago

What has Cymru done to deserve this, wifi and tv screens are not what the Health Boards need-it is frontline sraff a&e doctors, nurses, hcas combined with more beds so that transfer from a&e to wards can be done, Eluned Morgan is not fit for office and is applying the equilivant of a bandaid over a wound the size of Y Wyddfa.

I support devolution but Welsh labour have damaged the NHS so badly with it’s centralisation policies and poor oversight, I now really fear that in an emergency that outcomes are dire for those accessing a Welsh a&e

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Owain

When Mr Drakeford came back from London with a Baroness and Mr Gething went to Economy my heart sank and the non-medical term ‘stitch-up’ came to mind…

Ann
Ann
1 month ago
Reply to  Owain

To a large extent I agree but the reduction in the number of beds began in the 1990s before devolution with the Community Care Act under the UK Government. The devolution settlement has never really allowed Llywodraeth Cymru to catch up with all of the problems it inherited then. Failure over the years to train sufficient staff UK wide is also a big factor! The situation has been exacerbated since 2016 with movement of EU staff back to countries where they still have freedom of movement. There has also been a movement of UK or non EU staff to countries… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Is that a round about way of telling us that waiting times will increase and instead of addressing the root causes we are going to get this kind of “palliative” response. They are still discussing recruiting and training more professionals after how many years of acknowledging that such a problem exists, and got bigger.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I refer you to my first comment…

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Not a stitch up, more of a gaping wound.

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