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Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Welsh shambles shows that information is key

The one thing that any government needs during a pandemic is accurate information to enable ministers to properly direct resources and make decisions on the restrictions that need to be imposed to keep us all safe.

It was disturbing therefore to find that Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda university health boards failed to report 85 and 31 Covid-19 deaths respectively. As Wales-online reports, the reason for this was that they were not using the correct IT system.

As the Chair of the Senedd’s Public Accounts Committee says, a significant amount of public money has been spent on NHS ICT systems in Wales and yet we still cannot get it right. This includes the recently introduced 'All Wales' ICT system.

Wales is  not a big place. It has a devolved system of governance that should be on top of all these issues. The fact that Ministers cannot get such a small number of health boards to use all the same reporting systems is a major failure on their part and does nothing to help us deal with the current crisis.
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