2023
April
Status

Cawl & Crumble

Pleased to attend the ‘Cawl & Crumble’ event in St Davids to raise money for the overseas disaster fund.

🆘 The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together 15 leading aid charities working to help provide food, temporary shelter, medical aid, clean water and sanitation to those in crisis overseas.

💷 £10 could provide vital hygiene supplies for two people

💷£50 could provide emergency shelter for two families

💷 £100 could provide food for two families for a month

You too can donate, by clicking here 👉https://www.dec.org.uk/

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Wales’ cancer radiotherapy services to get £86m funding boost

Cancer patients across Wales are set to benefit from £86m of investment into the country’s radiotherapy infrastructure, Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan has announced.

Almost £50m of the funding package is being ringfenced for state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment at the Velindre Cancer Centre to replace its linear accelerator fleet.

The residual £38m will be spent on the new Radiotherapy ‘Satellite’ Centre at Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital, which will be open by next year, in a move that the Welsh Government say will improve treatment, make radiotherapy services safer, enhance overall efficiency, and expand max capacity.

“The opening of a satellite radiotherapy centre in southeast Wales and our recapitalisation of radiotherapy equipment demonstrates our commitment to making significant investments in improving cancer services and outcomes in Wales.

“The new satellite model will improve access to radiotherapy, servicing many of our most socio-economically disadvantaged communities along the heads of the valleys and northern Gwent.

“This builds on recent investments in the development of the new Velindre Cancer Centre and similar investments in radiotherapy, treatment planning and diagnostic equipment in our southwest and north Wales cancer treatment centres.

“This is part of our longer-term approach of ensuring people are able to access recommended radiotherapy techniques within cancer waiting time targets and professional access standards.”

Eluned Morgan MS

The investment will also provide ultra-modern cancer treatment planning software, the requisite digital hardware, and the necessary building refurbishments. By the end of the project, South-East Wales will benefit from the latest software to coordinate cancer treatment, a new range of radiotherapy machines, an extra Radiotherapy Satellite Centre, and a rejuvenated Velindre Cancer Centre.

Velindre University NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Steve Ham, added: “Our new fleet of radiotherapy machines will be among the best in Europe and will deliver state-of-the-art treatment to cancer patients in South-East Wales and beyond. We are grateful to the Welsh Government for their investment and look forward to working with our partners to build better cancer services for generations to come.

“Our staff and patients are at the heart of our service development and we are extremely grateful for the dedication they continue to demonstrate to improving patient outcomes whilst delivering first-class care today.

“Alongside the development of the new Velindre Cancer Centre, this will allow us to keep pace with increasing demand as the number of people referred to us with cancer grows every year.”

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Why don’t we just increase income tax to pay nurses more?

The Welsh Labour Government is often asked why it doesn’t increase income tax to fund the 17% pay rises being requested by the RCN for nurses. I addressed this in the chamber.

As you will be aware, the NHS had ensured historically high spending rises for much of the past decade, and the UK Conservative Government centralised cuts to health budgets have had considerable knock-on effects.

The estimated cost of an 1% NHS pay increase would be around £55 million – the only way we could raise this would be by increasing taxes on the only band that could meet the margin – the standard rate.
We simply do not have enough people paying the higher rate of tax in Wales. What this would mean is that people on lower incomes, who are already struggling through the cost of living crisis, would be forced to pay out even more.

Check out the calculations below:

1p on the Standard Rate (paid on income between £12,570 and £50,270) = £237m
1p on the higher rate (paid on income between £50,270 and £150,000) = £33m
1p on the additional rate (paid on income above £150,000) = £3m

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Extra training places for nurses & paramedics in Wales thanks to 8% increase in training budget

The Welsh Government has approved Health Education and Improvement Wales’ ambitious Education and Training Plan 2023-24 for the NHS Wales, backed by a record £281m investment package.

This is the ninth consecutive year that health professional education and training budgets will have increased in Wales.

The plan will support 527 extra training places for a wide range of NHS professionals, from scientists and pharmacists to occupational therapists and physiotherapists, as well as nurses.

The increase in training places include the following professions (full list below):

  • Adult nurse training places increase from 1,651 to 1,892 – a 14.6% increase.
  • Child nurse training places increase from 175 to 192 – a 9.7% increase.
  • Mental health nurses training places increase from 410 to 530 – a 29% increase.
  • Midwives training places increase from 185 to 190 – up 2.7%.
  • Physiotherapist training places increase from 174 to 180 – up 3.4%.
  • Occupational therapist training places increase from 179 to 197 – up 10%.
  • Paramedics training places increase from 116 to 120 – a 3.4% increase.
  • Pharmacy technician training places increase from 30 to 50 – up 66.7%.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:

“Despite the inflationary pressures on our budget we are committed to investing in the NHS workforce in Wales.

“I am delighted to increase training places once again for nurses and the many other health professions, which are the backbone of our health service.

“A well-trained NHS workforce with the right skills is essential to providing a sustainable high-quality care to people across Wales and improving standards in our health service.

“These additional training places will deliver a workforce which can respond to the challenges of the future.

“The Welsh NHS currently has more people working in it than at any time in its history, focusing on prevention and care across every community.”

Lisa Llewelyn, Director of Nurse and Health Professional Education at HEIW, said:

“This plan has been developed in collaboration with key stakeholders from the NHS in Wales and will support current and future workforce numbers.

“Building on growth from previous years, the additional education and training places will mean increased numbers of a range of qualified healthcare professionals being available to deliver quality care to our population and work in Wales in a range of roles and locations.”

The following tables show the increase in health professional and medical training places for 2023-24:

 

Speciality From To % Increase
Adult Nursing 1651 1892 14.6%
Mental Health Nursing 410 530 29.2%
Child 175 192 9.7%
Midwifery 185 190 2.7%
Dietetics 66 82 24.2%
Occupational Therapy 179 197 10%
Physiotherapy 174 180 3.4%
PhD Clinical Psychology 36 40 11.1%
Paramedics 116 120 3.4%
Operating Department practitioners 49 62 26.5%
Scientist Training Programme 39 53 36%
Higher Specialist Training 8 10 25%
Cardiac Physiology 23 24 4.3%
Audiology 11 12 9%
Respiratory & Sleep Science 8 14 75%
Neurophysiology 3 4 33%
Life Sciences (Bio Medical Sciences) 24 26 8.3%
Clinical Engineering 6 8 33%
Pre-registration Pharmacy Technicians 83 100 20.5%
Pharmacy Technicians 30 50 66.7%
Secondary Care/Speciality Training 89 92 3.4%
Foundation Training 60 69 15%
Physician Associates 52 57 9.6%

Since 2017:

  • Nurse training places have increased by 54.3%
  • Midwifery training places increased by 41.8%
  • Physiotherapist training places increased by 34.3%
  • Diagnostic Radiographer training places have increased by 33.9%
  • Occupational Therapist training places have increased by 62.8%
  • Paramedic training places have increased by 39.5%
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First electronic prescriptions in Wales to be sent from GPs to pharmacies by autumn 2023

NHS Wales is working with community pharmacy IT system providers to encourage them to minimise the use of paper.

Wales should see a “technical proof of concept” for an electronic prescription service (EPS) by spring 2023, with the service expected to be rolled to GP surgeries and pharmacies later in the year.

In September 2021, the Welsh government said it aimed to deliver full electronic prescribing within three to five years.

The statement added: “We are also working with community pharmacy IT system providers to encourage them to minimise the use of paper, optimise processes and enhance the service provided to the public, including tracking prescription requests, so people know when their prescription has been received by the pharmacy and when it is ready for collection.”

The update also said that under the ‘all-Wales electronic prescribing and medicines administration’ system, hospitals would be able to select their choice of system, allowing them to digitise prescribing and administration of ward and outpatient medicines. The first health board is expected to deploy this by autumn 2023.

Elen Jones, director for Wales at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: “We are excited to see that the implementation of the electronic prescribing service is moving ever closer and look forward to the benefits that this will bring to our hard working pharmacy teams and patients alike.

“Digital innovation and technology will be key to enhancing the dispensing and supply of medicines to patients, with opportunities and the potential to create more time for over stretched pharmacists and their teams to spend with patients.

“The long-term vision for pharmacy in Wales, ‘Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales‘, has ‘harnessing innovation and technology’ as one of its key themes; implementing electronic prescribing across all settings is a key goal and we are pleased to see these workstreams align.”

Judy Thomas, director of contractor services at Community Pharmacy Wales (CPW), which represents more than 700 pharmacy owners in Wales on NHS matters, said: “We are pleased to be working alongside Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW), in respect of the implementation of e-prescribing in Wales, and see the development as a key enabler for community pharmacies.

“DHCW recently attended a series of CPW contractor events to provide information to the network in advance of the roll-out commencing later this year”.

 

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