Leanne Wood has urged the Labour Government in Wales to act swiftly after staff shortages in Cwm Taf University Health Board were laid bare.
The Rhondda Assembly Member said the staffing problems identified in Cwm Taf were not unique but part of a problem across each and every health board in Wales. She added that it vindicated Plaid Cymru’s Assembly election pledge to recruit 1,000 extra doctors and 5,000 nurses for the NHS in Wales.
The comments followed the publication of a Risk Register by Cwm Taf University Health Board. Risk registers are produced by every health board as a legal requirement, and they highlight the most significant risks to the day to day operations of a local health board. They typically use a traffic light system to categorise risks in terms of likelihood and severity.
In the Cwm Taf Risk Register, it states: “There are currently 23 extreme and 9 high risks. The majority of assessed risks are linked with workforce shortages and their related impact, which includes GP shortages and Primary Care Sustainability.”
Currently every health board has shortages of staff highlighted as a ‘red’ risk to the safety and sustainability of services.
The Penygraig-based Leader of the Party of Wales said: “These risk registers prove beyond doubt that there is a staffing crisis in the Welsh NHS.
“It vindicates what Plaid Cymru has been calling for for many years now which is a 1,000 extra doctors and 5,000 extra nurses. The status quo is not safe or sustainable for patients; nor the staff who it seems are being expected to do more and more to plug the gaps.
“Labour have been in charge of the health service in Wales since the dawn of devolution in 1999 so they have to take responsibility for these failings.
“Their workforce planning has been woeful. There is little sign of improving either as witnessed by their decision to cancel plans for a new medical school for Wales earlier this year.
“In opposition, the Party of Wales will be pressing this lacklustre Labour Government to finally get to grips with the staffing shortages in the Welsh NHS as a priority.
“We have seen in the Rhondda what a shortage of GPs has meant for the future of some local surgeries and the ability to get appointments in a timely fashion. Patients – and our NHS staff – deserve better.”
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