Co-location of GP services in A&E departments

Feb 1, 2017Articles, Assembly Business, Assembly Issues0 comments

Plenary Wednesday 01 February 2017


Will the First Minister provide an update on funding for the South Wales Metro?

Spoken Contribution – 16:06:10

Thanks to the health committee for bringing today’s debate. Health issues are frequently discussed here in the Chamber, and that merely reflects the fact that they’re one of the major concerns of our electorate. As a newcomer to this place, I’m interested in the process whereby a committee, 50 per cent of whose members belong to the governing party, produce a report with concrete recommendations and the Government then decides which ones, if any, it will choose to implement. Clearly, the Government has to be able to govern, but if it ignores a lot of recommendations after a committee has conducted a rigorous evidence-based inquiry, then that Government does leave itself open to an awful lot of criticism if things do subsequently appear to go wrong.

At the moment, a lot of time is being wasted with patients being stuck in ambulances parked outside A&E departments, sometimes for hours at a time, attended all the while by paramedics. This is a real waste of resources, as well as being an unpleasant experience for patients. I appreciate that the Government is awaiting a report from the Wales Audit Office on out-of-hours services, and that that will affect what it decides to do about co-location of GP services in A&E departments. All I can say is, the sooner the Government gets this report, digests it and then takes some meaningful action, the better. It seems to me that co-location may well be a sensible option to relieve the strain on A&E. Thank you.