Tory NHS sniping fails to hit targets


Heartfelt words: A short poem by Lorna (pictured) on YouTube has been more persuasive than any of the Tory smear tactics.

The Tories have been working very hard on their campaign against NHS Wales; shame they don’t have a brilliant health service in England to hold up in comparison.

Twitter lit up around teatime yesterday (Thursday) with allegation after allegation about the service in Wales – for example, that one in seven Welsh patients are on waiting lists, including more than a thousand (if memory serves) for more than a year.

Yr Obdt Srvt countered by pointing out that Mrs Mike had to go to NHS Wales-arranged hospital appointments twice last week; on both occasions she was seen promptly and received appropriate treatment immediately.

All right, came the response. What about the appalling record of the Welsh Ambulance Service, which remains unable to reach all of its emergency calls within the mandatory eight-minute deadline?

The response should be obvious: How many of those patients died? They didn’t have an answer for that. It seems that the health of the patient is of less concern to the statistic-keepers than the speed with which they are attended. The situation conjures up images of Mussolini’s (fabled) Italy in which the trains all ran on time and you can imagine a Tory-run NHS Wales report right now: “None of the patients survived the journey to the hospital but the ambulances were all punctual!”

In fact, even if the Tories had been able to dredge up an answer, they would have been trumped. Yr Obdt Srvt has friends who work in the ambulance service and it just happens that, only a few days ago, one of them told us proudly how they had been working in a team who had arrived too late to stop the patient’s death – and had then brought this person back to life.

(As an aside, it was pleasant to be addressed by members of Conservative Central Headquarters, by the Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies, and by the Welsh Conservatives’ official Twitter accounts while debating the above issues (and others). Either Vox Political is going up in the world or they had nothing better to do than argue the toss with a small blog site. If you’re a Tory, try to work out which of those alternatives is least embarrassing for you!)

So, before criticising hard-working ambulance crews who have to negotiate gridlocked city centres, miles of winding country roads, and sometimes both – and are still expected to do it all within eight minutes, just take a moment to thank them for the amazing feats they can perform when they do arrive.

Wales isn’t like England. The terrain is different and the service is intentionally under-funded by the Westminster government, which has been cutting its grant to the Welsh Assembly ever since the Conservative Party came into office on the back of Liberal Democrat collusion.

As for the service in England itself – well, you’ve seen the image of Lorna adorning the top of this article. Have a listen to the following YouTube clip; it’ll tell you all you need to know about public feeling on that account!

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. joanna may October 24, 2014 at 2:11 am - Reply

    Wow Mike! I have never really been keen about poetry, But this young woman is Awsome!!!

    Maybe she should have been at the con’s fringe meeting instead of the utterly useless White Dee Ugh!! Who incidentally wants to be a politician (snigger) well she was convicted of stealing over £13,000 from her former council job, so she has the right qualifications right there!

  2. daijohn October 24, 2014 at 5:27 am - Reply

    I live in England and I have had two medical appointments this week. In one I waited an hour and saw no-one and in the other my wait was again an hour before seeing a consultant. In the latter case I also had a round trip of 60 miles. Greenhouses and stones perhaps?

  3. Niki October 24, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Why do we not hear Labour etc MPs just respond to the Tory smears with the simple comment that the Welsh Health Service is underfunded and thus the problems, if any, are caused by the Tory/lib dem government. Maybe you have heard it, but I haven’t.

    • Mike Sivier October 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      I’ve said it, but that’s not the same.

  4. Jeffrey Davies October 24, 2014 at 11:06 am - Reply

    ah cams a baffon but here in wales the nhs is surving last week i had a mini stroke yet it was around two days later my wife took me to the doctors nowing me and hospitals he sent me to opticians were on friday she tested my sight showing up something she give wife letter to go to singlteton hospital were i was seen by three different doctors but rather than go in i promised i would do has they sais so monday tuesday wensday after tests adter test the verdict was given mini stroke but to state the nhs in wales is dying then i salute my nhs shes alive and kicking it seems cams likes the untruths pity he didnt come clean about that oil found before the scots voted hay they in it together we just stock that they cull through benefit cuts and the such jeff3

  5. Florence October 24, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Like many on Wales I live 20 miles from the nearest ambulance station / A&E. I have had emergency treatment an ambulance twice before making the arduous journey. These paramedics are awesome.

    For outpatients I very rarely have to sit & wait long before a consultation. I do have a few beefs with other aspects of the NHS Wales but I’d rather safeguard the actual presence and accessibility of our services, than harp on. The problems are no worse than those I experienced in England some years ago, and that was before the 2010 start of the reorganisation.

    Keep up the good work Mike. We need a better total settlement, not rubbishing from central government.

  6. patrickdaly472010 October 25, 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    My brother in law was refused an ambulance in the early hours of the morning because he wasn’t deemed ill enough to qualify for one.
    3 weeks later he was dead from cancer.
    The Welsh ambulance service attitude stinks.

    • Mike Sivier October 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm - Reply

      There’s not enough information here to make an informed judgement on the situation.
      Was your brother-in-law already known to have cancer or was it a first-time call?
      What information was given to the ambulance service, on which the decision was made?
      What kind of cancer did he have and how quickly does it attack human beings?
      What happened after he was refused an ambulance? Was other transport available to him? Did he get to hospital within a reasonable time afterwards?
      Please note that I’m not trying to say that the service didn’t fail your brother-in-law – just that you have not given us enough information to condemn what happened in this instance.

      • patrickdaly472010 October 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

        The ambulance service was rang at 4.00 in the morning after he coudnt sleep because of pain and discomfort. After an interergation on the phone were my sister in law was virtually accoused of being a time waster, he was told if he was breathing ok and didn’t have heart problems he couldn’t have an ambulance. He was then taken by car to the hospital where he was admitted immediately, he was found to have terminal pancreatic cancer.
        I originally come from England and the NHS in Wales has gone down rapidly in 5 years, I used to sing its praises when I first came up here, not any more. Last week I had to wait 8 hours to SPEAK to a doctor.

        • Mike Sivier October 25, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

          That seems very odd to me. When Mrs Mike’s mother collapsed in our kitchen, the ambulance was here within five minutes.

          • patrickdaly472010 October 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm

            well I can assure that’s what happened

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