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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Labour at war with itself over Welsh NHS

Labour have suffered some embarrassment in Llanelli of late. Having won the seat back from Plaid Cymru at the last Assembly election by assuring voters that local health services were safe in their hands, they have now had the rug pulled from beneath them by the local health board.

There was a huge protest outside the Senedd recently where, Llanelli residents, worried about the future of the town's Prince Phillip hospital, demanded action by the Labour Government to avert the planned downgrading of services there.

Ironically, that protest featured a number of Labour Party activists having a go at their own government, including it seems the local MP, Nia Griffith, complete with T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan 'Save our Hospital'.

The ITV Wales blog reports that this has caused ructions within the Assembly Labour group who are rather upset that this action is undermining the Government's line that their hospital is safe:

This is one of a number of controversies about the way hospital services are provided in the future. The Welsh Government has repeatedly said that no decisions have yet been made and that no changes would be introduced which would compromise patient safety.

Ms Griffith wouldn't comment when I spoke to her earlier, but I gather her view was that the protest was directed against Hywel Dda Health Board and not the Welsh Government.

That explanation didn't satisfy many of the Labour AMs who felt that her actions risked undermining Welsh Government efforts to reassure patients that the plans won't lead to downgrading or closure for district general hospitals or A&E departments. They made those feelings clear at the group meeting.

No wonder Labour are struggling to convince people that they know what they are doing with regards the health service.
Just means Welsh Labour will win with a bigger majority at the next election. Very sad for Wales what with a GVA rating that remains in the toilet (after 10+ yeas of Welsh Labour at the helm); Wales at the bottom of just about every economic league table; a Welsh education system that is failing to deliver.
^opps typo or two including: "10+ yeas" which should read "10+ years".
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