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Health: £2m waiting area upgrades ‘funding a new fiddle whilst Rome burns,’ says Plaid

11 Oct 2022 2 minute read
Rhun ap Iorwerth. Picture by Plaid Cymru, Eluned Morgan. Picture by the Welsh Government.

Plaid Cymru has described £2m Welsh Government funding to upgrade emergency department waiting areas as “funding a new fiddle whilst Rome burns”.

The improvements – announced by Health Minister Eluned Morgan today – 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.

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid Cymru’s Health and social Care spokesperson said: “Of course I welcome any funding to improve the waiting experience – I spent 10 hours in an Emergency Department myself recently. But this feels like a distraction from the real problem. Welsh Government is funding a new fiddle whilst Rome burns.

“What we need is to see real change, making the NHS more sustainable and improving patient flow so people don’t have to spend as much time in Emergency Departments.

“What do we have instead? The Health Minister with her head in sand telling me last week that everything’s on track to hit waiting time targets, when the evidence clearly suggests otherwise. Her refusal to accept the reality and to change direction is naïve at best and irresponsible at worst.

“The attention of the Health Minister must be squarely focused on improving patient flow through health services. The huge delays in getting patients into hospitals and then out safely is having a detrimental impact not only patients, but also on staff wellbeing.”

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