One year on and the Labour-Plaid government still allows our hospitals to crumble - Kirsty

January 19, 2010 12:16 PM

The Labour-Plaid government can't be trusted to run a safe and efficient health service in Wales - that's the message from the Welsh Liberal Democrats this week.

The party is challenging the Labour-Plaid government to bring forward an action plan to reduce the increasing and worrying cost of the NHS estates repair backlog after it was revealed that the amount has jumped from £468 million last year to £505 million. Worryingly, the NHS estate has seen an increase in its 'high risk' maintenance backlog cost and a failure to make the NHS complaint with disability discrimination laws.

With Welsh hospitals becoming more unsafe, £1billion pounds being wasted in the NHS, the reorganisation of the Trusts proving ineffective, longer waiting lists than in England and an ambulance service on its knees, the Labour-Plaid government cannot be trusted with the NHS in Wales.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"A year ago this Wednesday, the Welsh Lib Dems called on the Labour-Plaid government to bring forward an action plan to reduce the NHS estate repair backlog of £468 million. At the time, the Labour Health Minister said that there was "no cause for concern" and the Plaid Cymru health spokesperson said that the debate was "utterly pointless". One year on, the repairs backlog is greater and the risks to staff and patients in our hospitals are greater. That is totally unacceptable and irresponsible of the government.

"The Labour-Plaid government has its head in the sand and the longer it ignores the problem, the more unsafe it is going to be for staff and patients to work and be treated in hospitals. Nothing was done to improve the backlog situation last year and look where that got us - more cost to the NHS and more risk to the patients and staff of our hospitals.

"This government is making a mockery out of our NHS. From the botched and expensive reorganisation of the Trusts in Wales, to a billion pounds of public money being misused, it is obvious that Labour and Plaid Cymru cannot be trusted to run the health service in this country. This is why we are calling on the government to bring about an action plan to ensure that the risk to patients and staff is eradicated from the NHS."

Ends.

The Estate Condition and Performance Report 2008/09 report shows: * A total backlog of repairs of £505.2 million. * An increase of £7.6 million in 'high risk' maintenance backlog, to £82.2 million. * An increase of £27.3 million in 'significant risk' maintenance backlog, to £159 million * An increase of £32 million in the 'risk adjusted backlog' to £258.5 million. * A slight decrease in the cost of making the NHS compliant with disability discrimination laws, but that this would still cost £18.9 million. * An increase of £1 million in the cost of complying with Firecode, to £12 million. * CO2 emissions have risen 2,283 tonnes from 114,962 tonnes to 117,245.

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