Wednesday, September 22, 2010
A failure of transparency
When is a report not a report? When it is merely a document which was part of a much wider five year framework for the NHS as a whole or just an example of "numerous inputs and analysis" or even when it is a process not a publication. Confused? So are we.
Yesterday Kirsty Williams stood up in the chamber and produced a 71 page report on the NHS that has cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds and which the Health Minister has twice denied existed.
As the BBC report says: The McKinsey document made public by the Welsh Liberal Democrats identified criticisms of the way strategies have been implemented in the Welsh health service.
It said: "Our discussions have highlighted several reasons why strategy implementations have fallen short in Wales."
- strategic objectives are too numerous and not prioritised, so none or the wrong ones are implemented
- a gap between policy leads and operational delivery
- strategic objectives are politically unviable
- implementation lacks accountability
- initiatives are financially unaffordable
- lack of capability to deliver
The document also made a number of recommendations to make savings. These included:
- prevent interventions of limited clinical value
- transfer cost of non-essential items items to patients (e.g nicotine patches)
- shut elective care over Christmas period
- require non-clinical nursing staff to cover shifts
- reduce staffing levels e.g overtime
- freeze pay spend (in certain areas).
It is also worth noting that it is Kirsty Williams and the Liberal Democrats who have once more exposed this travesty and shown that we are the real opposition in the Assembly. As BBC Welsh Affairs Editor, Vaughan Roderick says this is 'an early political hit for the Lib Dem leader on the first day of the new term.'
This is also acknowledged on the Change of Personnel blog, which states:
But apart from the obvious questions of why the report’s existence was denied and not published so that it could be scrutinised by Assembly Members in Committee, it puts into sharp focus the role and priorities of the other Opposition Leader in Cardiff Bay Nick Bourne.
Kirsty and her team should be congratulated for uncovering another little gem that WAG would rather have stayed buried and on the first day back after the Summer Recess, but what must the Tories be thinking that yet again it is the Welsh Lib Dem leader, not the supposed real Leader of the Opposition Tory Nick Bourne’s who is making headlines at WAG’s expense.
It’s worth asking yourself when was the last time Nick Bourne made an impact in FMQ’s or at any other time recently and what does it say about his political judgement and the poor quality of his advisors, that this information along with the International Business Wales expenses scandal was unearthed by a Lib Dem team less than half their size and with fewer resources.
We will continue to put the pressure on.
The above link is to the documents for Initial Teacher Training recommendations for Wales, written in January 2006; contained in this report is a series of recommendations and the suggestion that these recommendations be completed by September 2010.
To my knowledge, none of these recommendations within this report have been completed or even acted upon.
If WAG is going to spend money on experts to produce a report, then these reports should be acted on or don't bother commissioning any future reports!