A NEW VOICE FOR A HEALTHY WALES

 THE CHALLENGE

 Labour has decided to cut health spending in Wales. This damaging decision was taken by the Labour-led Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) despite the fact that we have the highest proportion of overweight children in the UK, diabetes and heart disease rates well above the UK average, and cancer mortality rates amongst the highest in Europe. Welsh patients deserve better. If we are to make Wales a healthier nation we must protect health spending and use the NHS budget more effectively. It is the skills of doctors, nurses and other health professionals that will transform such financial support into better health outcomes. And patients must also be supported to live healthier lives.

A NEW VOICE

A Welsh Conservative Assembly Government will be a new voice for doctors, nurses and health professionals. We will trust them to take the decisions that will help eliminate the £1 billion of waste that occurs annually in NHS Wales. A Welsh Conservative Assembly Government will be a new voice for patients and not settle for health outcomes that don’t match the highest in Europe.

A WELSH CONSERVATIVE ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT WILL:

Protect Health Spending

Protect NHS expenditure each and every year in real terms for the next four years.

Clamp down on the £1 billion waste that occurs annually within the NHS.

Re-introduce a charge of £5 per prescription for those who can afford it, but we will not ask those under 25, older people, cancer patients and those who were previously exempt to pay.

Fight Cancer

Establish a cancer drugs fund to give Welsh patients the best possible treatments.

Implement an integrated cancer screening service to ensure that current best practice in areas such as breast cancer is extended to other cancers.

Appoint a ‘Cancer Co-ordinator’ for Wales, to champion cancer services and implement a robust National Cancer Plan.

Improve Health Services

Ensure that at least 75% of ambulances respond to category A emergency calls within 8 minutes nationally and invest an additional £10 million annually in the Ambulance Service.

Support the Wales Air Ambulance Service, providing funding of £3 million a year.

Invest in stroke units and Early Supported Discharge services, to give stroke victims the best chance of recovery.

Invest in palliative care services, and provide all hospices in Wales with three-year funding cycles with the money raised from prescription charges.

Pilot a walk-in health centre in Wrexham, utilising the skills of therapists and nurses to provide fast, convenient healthcare advice and treatment for minor injuries and ailments.

Publish a comprehensive hospital infection reduction strategy with an emphasis on preventative measures that start in the patient’s home.

Invest in antenatal screening and maternity services, to give babies born in Wales the best possible start in life.

Develop a national oral health strategy, which will provide strong guidance for NHS dental services, and share best practice across Local Health Boards.

Promote Public Health

Improve access to screening services for cancer, diabetes, and eye conditions such as glaucoma as part of an integrated strategy on health screening.

Appoint a Deputy Minister for Public Health, with a focus on improving the health of the nation by co-ordinating cross-cutting portfolios.

Improve food hygiene and ensure that food businesses display food hygiene scores.

Review smoking cessation measures, including the display of tobacco products.

Support Doctors and Nurses

Maintain the number of whole-time equivalent registered nurses working in NHS Wales, and invest in their continuing professional development.

Undertake a recruitment and retention drive to address the current shortage of doctors.

Take full advantage of the expertise in community pharmacies and optometrists to improve health and wellbeing. There is great scope to increase the effective use of medicines and cut down the £50 million wasted annually by patients returning unused medicines.

Improve CCTV coverage in A&E wards and ambulances, and protect NHS staff who raise concerns about patient safety.

Raise Standards in Social Care

Publish a White Paper on collaboration between the NHS and Social Services. With the formation of the 7 new Local Health Boards, now is the appropriate time to review the planning and commissioning of services.

Invest in therapy services and emphasise their role in keeping people well and promoting independent living.

Give people with a chronic illness or long-term condition the right to shape the care they receive. While patients should not be forced to take control of their care budgets, those that wish to should be encouraged and supported.

Ask the Older People’s Commissioner to conduct a review of advocacy services for older people and other vulnerable groups.