Tories seek Keogh-style NHS review
Tuesday 5th November 2013, 2:50PM GMT.
Fresh calls for a major inspection of Wales’s NHS are to be made in the Welsh Assembly.
The Welsh Conservatives say the country’s health service needs a “Keogh-style” inquiry amid concerns over rising hospital death rates. In England, 14 hospital trusts have been the subject of a review by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.
Tory leader in the Assembly Andrew RT Davies said the same needs to happen in Wales – a suggestion refuted by First Minister Carwyn Jones.
But Mr Davies said that high mortality rates in Welsh hospitals are ” a smoke signal” that something is wrong with the health service.
He said: “Carwyn Jones is ignoring the growing chorus of calls for a Keogh-style inquiry from patients, clinicians and even his own MPs.
“This long-standing position of the Welsh Conservatives in calling for a Keogh-style inquiry into the Welsh NHS is gaining support, yet Carwyn Jones has his head in the sand.”
Figures published last week showed that six of Wales’s seven health boards had “risk-adjusted” death rates which were higher than expected.
And fresh questions about standards in the Welsh NHS have been raised after it was announced that a review of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board is to undertaken. That inquiry has been prompted amid allegations that an elderly patient was seriously neglected at two of its hospitals.
But shadow health minister Darren Millar argued a nationwide review was needed, rather than a “postcode lottery approach”.
He added: “We urgently need a robust Wales-wide inquiry into standards of patient care and high death rates in our hospitals to identify failings and put them right to prevent another Mid Staffs scandal.
“You cannot put a price on a life, yet Carwyn Jones is blocking transparency in the Welsh NHS on cost grounds.
On Wednesday, the Welsh Conservatives will table a motion in the Senedd calling for a Keogh-style inquiry. However even if the Tories, whose 14 seats are dwarfed by Labour’s 30, won the most votes, the result would not be binding.
During First Minister’s questions, Welsh Labour leader Mr Jones mocked the Tories for what he called double-standards with regards to the NHS.
He said: “We will not be preparing for a Keogh-style inquiry in Wales.
“There are no particular areas within the Welsh NHS (as a whole) that need addressing.
“Yes, there was a need for one in England because there is a crisis – because of the actions of the UK Government.
“One thing we will not do is impose chaos in Wales like there has been done in England.
“A&E waiting times are on the rise in England….h ospital trusts are going bankrupt.
“Could you imagine what would happen to the NHS if the Tories came into power? Privatisation, disaster and cuts.”