Jun 092015
 

Yesterday the ‘Welsh’ Government announced that is has taken the troubled Betsi CadwaladrGwynedd SW Wards merged University Health Board into special measures. (The Tawel Fan scandal being the last straw.) Today we learnt that the chief executive, Trevor Purt, has been suspended. And yet . . . despite everything that has been said and written about the health service in Wales generally, and the northern part of the country in particular, there are a couple of issues, or contributing factors, that no one is willing to address. To explain what I’m referring to, I can do no better than quote a recently elected Tory MP, James Davies, now representing the Vale of Clwyd.

This is what the Daily Post had to say about him a month before the election, and here’s Dr Davies’ maiden speech in the House of Commons on June 2nd. The same two themes crop up in both pieces and also figured prominently in his election campaign; one is his concern over the state of the NHS in Wales and the second is the decline of Rhyl. The first of those he blames on the Labour regime down Cardiff docks, which is the easy way out and no more than we should expect from a Tory politician on the Costa Geriatrica. As for Rhyl, well, he doesn’t actually blame anyone, he just seems to believe, rather vaguely that, well, something should be done. Among his suggestions is a new Sun Centre. Of course, that’ll solve all the problems.

Being a GP, Dr Davies must be aware that one of the major reasons for the poor standard of health and other services in his area is the demands placed on those services by a) large numbers of elderly people moving into Wales and b) the white trash, problem families, drug addicts and other substance abusers, plus all manner of criminals, being dumped in the towns along our northern coast. Rhyl being the worst example. Dr Davies knows all this but he cannot say it because, as an England-worshipping Welsh UnionisAge, where bornt he is psychologically and emotionally incapable of viewing England as anything other than a paradise inhabited by superior beings with which Wales enjoys a one-sided relationship, with everything good that we enjoy emanating from England, and everything wrong with Wales our own fault. This is the Unionist mind-set (of both right and left), though it’s sad to see this self-loathing displayed in a seemingly intelligent man of just 35 years.

Which leaves James Davies in the position of wanting to discuss, and demand remedies for, problems for which he cannot admit major contributory causes. The Vale of Clwyd constituency is located in Denbighshire, where only 42.7% of the 65+ age group was born in Wales, yet we are asked to believe that the obvious influx of elderly people from outside of Wales has no impact whatsoever on the performance of the NHS locally. (In my area, less than one third of the 50+ age group is Welsh born! See map and table.) I’d hate to think that this inability to link cause and effect is indicative of how he works as a doctor. ‘Yes, Mr Smith, you’ve definitely got cirrhosis of the liver, but we’ll ignore your three bottles of whisky a day’. Much of Davies’ support would have come from elderly English voters angry at the standard of the local health service, but of course oblivious to the fact that their moving to Wales in such numbers contributes to the declining health service they’re complaining about. Nor can Doc Davies be honest about the reasons for the state of the NHS because he’s after the votes of those causing the problem! It’s altogether fitting that this flight from reality is taking place so close to where Alice in Wonderland was written.age, place of birth

But it’s not just James Davies who is unable to face the truth. It’s all the other politicians, and the media. With the latter doing its already tarnished reputation no good by tip-toeing around the elephant in the room. All terrified of speaking the truth for fear of making the front page of the Daily Mail or some other rag and being vilified as ‘racist’ or, what is much worse, ‘anti-English’. And fearing said rag going into overdrive with ‘ . . . veterans of Dunkirk . . . “the few” . . . Welsh all supported Hitler anyway . . . We’ll Meet Again . . . have to ask in Welsh to go to the toilet . . . fucking immigrants . . . fucking Jocks . . . good bloke, that Farage . . . blahdeblahdeblahdebritnatbollocks’.

Last night I put out a few tweets on this subject which were well received, being favourited and retweeted. The one discordant voice belonged to a Plaidista named Rhydian Fitter, who seemed unable to make the connection between tens of thousands of elderly English people moving to our rural and coastal areas and deteriorating heath provision. “I don’t see the connection”, protested young Fitter. Of course not. As a loyal member of Plaid Cymru you must follow the party line that pretends the colonisation of Wales is notRhydian Fitter happening (and, er, if it is, then it’s a good thing), a line that is little different to that of Dr James Davies, and is also the line enforced by the Daily Mail. Let us hope and pray for Plaid Cymru’s demise to begin next May. Plaid Cymru has had nothing to say to Welsh people – as Welsh people – for over thirty years, you can’t run on empty for ever. If I thought it would help put Plaid out of its misery, I’d even consider voting Ukip . . . despite Nathan Gill.

To conclude, and here I make no apologies for repeating myself. People living in other parts of the country, particularly the south, may be tempted to think that the problem dealt with here is restricted to the rural north and west, because English people don’t retire to Merthyr or Newport. Don’t kid yourself! The ‘Welsh’ Government has a fixed amount to spend on the NHS and other services, when so much of that has to be diverted to the areas suffering the strain of the geriatric influx, or the dumping of undesirables, then clearly, there will be less to spend in Merthyr and Newport, Swansea and Cardiff. We are all paying for the refusal – of all concerned – to acknowledge one of the major factors contributing to the crisis overwhelming the Welsh NHS.

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35 Comments on "Welsh NHS: Let’s Have Some Honesty"

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Big Gee
Admin

Spot on Jac. That is exactly as it is. An excellent and truthful roundup of the REAL problems on every front from politics to the media and the NHS in Cymru.

What REALLY gets my goat is the way the media froths at the mouth whenever they get an opportunity to compare us with England – and always when there’s an opportunity to promote any little negative facet that they can draw attention to, you don’t hear a whisper when the shoe is on the othjer foot. I swear that that south of the Lansker line refugee (Jamie Owen) has an orgasm every time he’s given an opportunity to broadcast his anti Welsh sentiments in the guise of news – a pity he didn’t get as much pleasure out of pronouncing our Welsh place names and applied it with the same gusto! How many decades does he need to get his mouth around our phonetic alphabet? Albeit in a carefully culivated English public schoolboy accent – although he only got sent as far as Christ College Brecon from Pembroke Dock!

Brychan
Guest

There is a tutorial unit for the English schools curriculum. This unit is called ….

“Where is granny going?”

http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Teaching+resources/Key+Stage+3+resources/Who+wants+to+live+forever/Where+is+Granny+going.htm

A working example of statistical segment is provided, and it compares Eastbourne where 23% are 65+ and London Borough of Wandsworth where less than 10% are 65+. In the exam you get extra marks for citing the fact that extra cost of care by councils and increased healthcare costs are a challenge to granny moving to costal towns.

Eastbourne, are so plagued with hoards of wrinklies, it has its own Clinical Commissioning Group (GPs consortium) within the English NHS, and are allocated increased funding to ‘procure’ the ‘off-the shelf’ procedures from NHS Hospitals like hip replacements and other costs of looking after the elderly. When the elderly move within England the cash follows the patient, but not if they move to Wales.

If Rhydian Fitter is unable to make the connection between tens of thousands of elderly English people moving to our rural and coastal areas of North Wales and deteriorating heath provision then he should immediately enrol in Key Stage 3 Geography in Sussex.

The Royal Geographical Society sets this particular exam question.
Who says they are racist?

Marconatrix
Guest

I read your blog partly because I’m continually puzzled by your politics.

OK the problems are not easily solved, but without Plaid what have you left? Even with PC few seem to want to vote for them, hence you return mostly unionist MPs and AMs. So on the face of it the Welsh are voting themselves into oblivion. They are glad of the right to be able to settle and work in England, and the quid pro quo is that you have to allow the English to settle and work in Wales. If you can’t manage to assimilate them as once used to happen, whose fault is that?

What would you do if you ruled Wales, build up Offa’s Dyke into a sort of Iron Curtain, or less dramatically adopt an isolationist policy? Wales as a British version of East Germany?

You want to discriminate against people on the basis of where they were born. Is that fair? I couldn’t help where I was born, and neither could you. It’s something that’s quite beyond our control, like the colour of our skin. Not exactly racism, but something quite close. Closer for instance than religious discrimination, because people can and do change their religions.

You could discriminate on the basis of language, like the Baltic states, that would be fair because people can learn the local language if they really need to, ah but the Welsh don’t exactly fall over themselves to promote Welsh, now only spoken by a static minority despite sustained official support.

Personally I’m pro Welsh nationalism and the language, but most Welsh people seem to give little more than lip-service to either. Who am I, and outsider, to tell them they are wrong?

All a bit pathetic really.

Wel, dyna fi wedi dweud fyn nhamaid fi …

Ianto Phillips
Guest

Another well written piece. I agree with yourself and Huw Edwards that it is astonishing that such subjects are never raised due to unjustified claims of racism [odd to hear Huw Edwards being the one to broach it, but Hywel Teifi “Whirligig” Edwards must have started slowing down the spinning in his grave just that little bit when he did.]

Of course immigration is a complex subject, but countries need to have powers to deal with it in the way that is best for them. Immigration from England is the form of immigration which is having the largest effect on Wales- not only in the way illustrated well in this article, language has to effectively grow in order to stand still, and the political scene is changed tremendously by them.

But Marconatrix misses the point, of course- the whole point is that even discussions relating to the stress on the NHS in certain areas caused by this, an important discussion, can not be had because of the ridiculous cries of “racism” – a point which Marconatrix illustrates perfectly.

Marconatrix says he is “puzzled” by Jac’s politics. Well, if Marconatrix is the same gentleman who posted on Cornwall24’s forum as Factotum (I have a passing interest in other Celtic languages) then I am more than puzzled by his attitude to Wales.
A succession of snide comments concerning the Welsh and ignorant comments on the state of the Welsh language and how it is used in society, hidden behind an insistence he liked and cared for Wales, culminating in a bizarre claim that everyone else on the forum disliked Wales apart from him, when his were the only snide comments on it.
Something was going on there.
Perhaps a bitterness borne from an interest in the Welsh language, but then finding that Welsh speakers weren’t what he expected? I don’t know. But that’s happened more than once. Best thing is to fit in with them rather than complain they are not what you want them to be. I’d suggest not telling people that they shouldn’t use “lico” in conversation because it isn’t in whatever dictionary you happen to possess could be a start. Just a thought.

I know on Cornwall24 people would “bow to his knowledge of Wales”, but I hope he understands that is unlikely to happen here.

Oh, and claiming to support Welsh nationalism whilst dripping the poison of claims of “racism” (despite the ‘that’s not “exactly” what you said’ bollocks) seems to be par for the course.

I think his politics and opinions are becoming less of a puzzle to me.

Marconatrix, if you are not that same gentleman, I apologise for jumping to conclusions and withdraw the above remarks, but I think I do have reasonable cause for thinking so.

Albert Hill
Guest

What I don’t get Jac is that I believe you’re pro Wales being in the EU? Please correct me if I’m wrong. Control of borders is just impossible within the EU. No doubt we could do something with planning laws but not much.

The Earthshaker
Guest

Another powerful if depressing piece exposing the Welsh political class, including joke nationalists, the media and civil society for what they are selfish, self aggrandising, cowardly, visionless sock puppets.

The NHS is Labour’s Achilles heal and they know it, which is why the Tories exploited it so ruthlessly during the General Election and will do the again in the run up to the Assembly elections as Labour flounders under delusions of its own competence.

This weeks events following the relentless Tory attacks on the NHS for 18 months is piling the pressure on Carwyn Jones, his normally laid back, unflappable persona was severely ruffled in FMQ’s yesterday by Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams on e-cigs to the extent that the Presiding Officer had to intervene and get his remarks removed from the official record and made him apologise for being so rude and off hand, and behind the scenes Carwyn’s been told him to up his game or move on by senior Labour people.

As for Besti Cadwallader it should have been taken in to special measures after the first set of balls ups, but hey this is Labour Wales why should a Minister act decisively when you can hold out for patient deaths, major losses of public confidence in the NHS, Welsh Ministers and devolution, allegations of staff misconduct and an opportunity to waste even more public money before you act, this is what Labour sheep voted for and will do again nexy May, enjoy it folks.

I thought your Cornish friend might be a troll when he first appeared, they frequent the Scottish pro indy sites and get frequently ignored, but his ‘contributions’ here are no better than the idiots infesting Daily Wales.

Carnabwth
Guest

I did hear Llyr Hughes-Griffiths say today on Radio Wales I think that we have to be ‘brutally honest’ about the state of the NHS in North Wales if it’s to be sorted out. Yeah right!

Talking of Health Boards. How can a Hywel Dda Health Board Hospital in Aberystwyth have a monoglot English speaker on the desk in the Out-Patients dept.? It’s like we’re still living in the 90’s. And while there this week, I saw a very old Welsh speaking local being dealt with by again an English speaking ambulance driver. It’s shameful.

Big Gee
Admin

By sheer coincidence my mam has been in Bronglais for just under a month, she had a fall, has spinal compression problems as a result can’t move her hands or legs – she’s virtually become a paraplegic. She’s 85, hard of hearing, and has difficulty understanding and communicating in English at the best of times.

When she arrived at A&E she was brought there by two monoglot English ambulance staff who were talking ‘baby speak’ to her with exaggerated mouth movement (obviously having mistaken my mother for a dim witted two year old who was too stupid to understand the ‘Queen’s English’). She was dumped in a bed and left there. When I finally arrived I was told that my mother was confused and talking gibberish and couldn’t answer any questions the Doctor and the nurses had asked her, so they couldn’t assess her properly. I immediately realised that they were all speaking to her in fast English with every dialect from Yorkshire to Essex, except the Dr – he was Arabic and the nurses couldn’t understand him very well either.

After a quick chat with my mam I was able to c convey everything she said to the staff, as she was quite coherent – it was just that she was talking to them in Welsh, and because of her fall (she’d been lying unconscious for two hours before she was found), her speech was just a bit slurred and a bit feeble.

I was fuming, and let all & sundry know in no uncertain terms of my frustration and fury. I insisted that in future ALL communications were to be carried out with her in Welsh and if there were no Welsh speaking staff available (Drs etc.) then she was to have a fluent Welsh speaking senior nurse with her at all times to convey her communications to the other monoglot staff. Failing that I threatened to take the matter to the very top and in the process bring my solicitor in on the act.

The reaction was akin to me having taken a pin out of a grenade and lobbed it on to the A&E waiting room floor – you’ve never seen such horrified looks! But it’s worked – the attitude has changed greatly and when I visit I get embarrassed at how accommodating the staff on Ceredig ward have become.

But the point is – I should never have had to resort to such lengths to get my mother treated in her native tongue in a hospital that can’t get further into the middle of Wales. I estimate that at least 80% of the staff from floor cleaners to surgeons are monoglot English speakers with strong English regional accents that indicates they are relatively new arrivals. Amazingly some of the few that make an effort to say please and thank you in Welsh are some of the Polish staff that bring the tea around. That also I think says something about attitudes towards the natives.

It’s a bloody screaming disgrace and an obvious affront to people’s basic human rights. Complain at media level and guess what you’re accused of being? Yes you’ve guessed an anti English RACIST!

The one that gets most hot under the collar about this is my wife who’s from Birkenhead and feels embarrassed at the attitudes, ignorance and bigotry displayed by her fellow countrymen and women.

Carnabwth
Guest

It’s a small world. I spent a few days in Ceredig last year after an accident close to Aber. I’m not from the area but was taken there by ambulance. I think I mentioned it at the time on this blog that few of them on that ward if any spoke Welsh. There was a woman in the female section who screamed night and day in Welsh. She was I was told talking to people who had long died. The nurses dealing with her were mostly English speaking….if not all of them. Doesn’t human rights come into play in such situations?

dafis
Guest

Further west and north you go within our country the worse it gets, simply because that’s where the influx of Anglos has a disproportionate effect on what is generally a smaller native population anyway. Whichever way you disect the issues of language/identity/culture you will find a steadliy increasing pace & tempo of corrosion/erosion > decline.

In towns like Aber having a Uni there makes matters worse ! simply because they are tuning into the global academic scene always yapping on about “world leading this and that ……” but only in their own little bubble. Growth of student numbers – it was called “wider access” at one time, which made me think there might be a chance to sell a few gates, – led to more academics, generally sourced from the lower decks of assorted English and overseas unis, all conducting their business in English with a token acknowledgement that Welsh exists ( in a small corner ) . Combine this academic influx with the assorted good lifers, drop outs, layabouts and petty crims and you have a pretty nasty social mix before you add on a dose of retiring gentry with their near-certain health issues.

You can replicate this picture in many towns up & down the country, with some shifts in the bias of the mix but with similar outcomes. Brychan, above, unearths a gem when he tells us that ….”When the elderly move within England the cash follows the patient, but not if they move to Wales”.

Perhaps Carwyn, on reading this when mopping up his runny egg in the morning, will rush off a text to his crew alerting them to further possibilities of extra funding for NHS and community social services in Wales, while also setting his team on working to change the planning and social services rule books which enables customised housing developments for the monied influx, and the hidden transfer system that shifts metropolitan England’s human effluent into our back yard. But on waking up, I realise he’s not going to do anything like that as long as he has a hole in his ass.

Sion
Guest

Don’t forget the residents of caravan parks – and I’m thinking of the tens of thousands of static caravans in one stretch from Talacre to Pensarn – who can stay for about 10 months of the year, pay no council tax and are invariably elderly and/or with health problems.

I am friendly with a family from the English midlands who have two caravans, and of the ten or so family members who each spend about three or four weeks of the year in Towyn, six have serious health issues. Each of those six has spent at least a night in Bodelwyddan hospital over the past couple of years, with ailments such as heart problems, breathing difficulties, diabetes-related kidney problems and strokes.

Does the Welsh government receive a penny for these caravanners’ treatment?

I very much doubt it. It is not the fault of this family, they are merely doing what they’ve done for forty years – holidaying in Towyn. It is the fault of the UK and Welsh governments for failing to recognise that the NHS in Wales, vis-a-vis elderly English holidaymakers and settlers, should receive extra funding to cope with the extra demand for health services.

And as for Plaid: I am still a member but its paranoia over being tarred with the ‘racism’ brush is fatally wounding the party. Many at the top level are feminists, environmentalists, pacifists, federalists, devolutionists, socialists and campaigners for any-and-all forms of politically-correct equality stuff. But as for being nationalists – that comes a long way down their list of priorities for themselves and Wales.

dafis
Guest

ref your clip in your tweet sidebar – is Protic posing as J Jones, or is J Jones posing as Protic ? I find it hard to believe that any genuine Serb would fail to understand the relevance and importance of identity. Even in the Balkans all they really wanted was for Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians et al to bugger off and respect Serbian territorial claims which may have been a bit inflated, but that’s about par for the course wherever a dispute arises.

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