Drakeford urged to set up “winter war rooms” to stave off A&E collapse

The Welsh Conservatives are urging the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to follow UK Government plans in England to set up NHS war rooms to prevent winter pressures consuming A&E departments.

NHS England are to establish 24/7 “data-driven control centres” to provide accurate information on bed capacity in hospitals and care homes. They will be run by “clinicians and experts” who can identify pressure points and act to reduce deadly ambulance delays and lengthy waits in A&E.

Therefore, if one hospital becomes particularly busy, staff at the control centre can divert ambulances to different emergency departments. Doctors and nurses could be moved to the busiest sites as well.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said:

“The NHS in facing a very tough time across the UK, but we know that England are doing far better than Wales on several fronts – from treatment waiting lists, A&E waits, and ambulance delays – so it is only right that we look at what works elsewhere.

“These plans make the most of technology and smarter ways of working to ensure emergency services work as best as possible for patients and staff – they should be seriously considered as a means to prevent winter pressures and long-term Labour mismanagement overwhelming the NHS.

“Labour should not let patients and staff to fester in a system that does not work for them just because they don’t want to copy England. That attitude has meant no surgical hubs have been set up in Wales, which has left 60,000 people waiting over two years for treatment.

“Labour need to get a grip on the NHS and stop breaking all the wrong records.”

In total 42 “system control centres” will be set up by December 1, as the English NHS is made ready for its toughest winter. Other plans include local “respiratory infections hubs” to offer patients same-day out-of-hospital care for Covid-19, flu, acute bronchitis and pneumonia.

England has made progress in tackling the treatment backlog using approaches like surgical hubs – 50 are to be added to the 91 already in operation – backed by the Royal College of Surgeons. There are none in Wales due to a failure to plan.

The call follows an outburst from the Mark Drakeford last week as he aimed to distract from his appalling record in managing the NHS through a vitriolic tantrum at First Minister’s Questions.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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