Reopened minor injury units and no hospital downgrading
No NHS reorganisation, no hospital closures and reopened minor injury units.
That’s the pledge today from Welsh Conservatives, four months from a Welsh general election labelled hugely significant for the future management of the NHS in Wales.
The Shadow Minister for Health has promised to maintain all existing emergency departments and to re-establish minor injury units in community hospitals which have seen theirs axed by the Labour government – in Newtown, Tenby and Colwyn Bay and in the Rhyl/Prestatyn area.
A Welsh Conservative government would also re-establish paediatric and special care baby services at Withybush hospital, where Labour’s NHS reorganisation in west Wales has resulted in care for the most premature and sick babies being moved from Haverfordwest to Carmarthen.
Welsh Conservatives have long called for an end to hospital downgrading in Wales, which has forced numerous patients – and their relatives – to travel further for essential services.
Ensuring there is no disruption to current frontline services – and reopening a number of key minor injury units closed by Labour – would be an immediate focus for an incoming Welsh Conservative government.
In addition this, the Shadow Minister for Health – Darren Millar AM – has announced the establishment of a 20 million pounds Community Hospital Development Fund to encourage the innovative use of community hospitals across Wales.
Wales has seen the largest reductions in health spending of any of the UK nations after the Welsh government failed to follow the Conservative lead to protect NHS spending. The Welsh Conservatives are the only party committed to protecting the health budget.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Health, Darren Millar AM, said:
“Labour have been running the NHS in Wales since 1997, but they are running it into the ground. In contrast to their legacy of cuts, closures and downgrades, we are making a commitment today to secure, re-open and widen access to NHS services in Wales.
“There would be no reorganisation of the health service under a Welsh Conservative Health Minister and key minor injury units so cruelly closed by Labour, would be re-established to relieve pressure on our emergency departments and provide more convenient access to patients.
“We have always championed the retention of frontline services and consistently opposed the downgrading that has forced patients and their families to travel further for treatment.
“Not only would local services be safe with a Welsh Conservative government, we would also work hard to expand the role of community hospitals. Working with staff and health boards, we would provide funding to boost innovation and improve the patient experience.
“Labour’s failed management of the health service has led to record-breaking cuts and life-changing consequences. Welsh Conservatives would boost funding, enhance services and always put patients first.”