30/04/2014 The Wales Report


Current affairs series presented by Bethan Rhys Roberts. Is there a recruitment crisis in the Welsh NHS? And does the Welsh media adequately reflect life in Wales?

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Tonight on the Wales Report: Warnings from experts that the Welsh


NHS is facing a recruitment crisis, with essential services being put at


risk. We investigate. One year on, what impact are the UK


Government's welfare changes having on Welsh communities? And Wales on


screen. Is Welsh life being adequately reflected in the media?


Stay with us for the Wales Report. Good evening and welcome back to the


Wales Report. On tonight's programme, does Wales have enough


doctors and nurses to run the health service effectively? According to


many in the sector, the NHS in Wales is facing severe problems when it


comes to recruiting and retaining staff in hospitals, general practice


and nursing. Experts say the situation is now at crisis point,


and this summer could see GP practices closing and hospitals


unable to offer certain services. Helen Callaghan has been


investigating. When you are ill, you expect the


place where you are being looked after to be fully staffed with the


best people. But there are serious concerns this is not happening in


Wales and we have been told that recruitment robins are fat in the


entire NHS -- recruitment problems are affecting.


I think you have to look at the man and and whether the demand outstrip


the resource and it does. The situation is at breaking point. I


would describe it as a perfect storm.


We can look at the Labour record in Wales. With the Welsh NHS under


constant attack, allegations of a recruitment crisis are the blow.


The Health Minister is adamant there is not one but that is not what X


votes -- experts have told this programme. Doctor Banfield is a


consultant who trains junior doctors. He has also -- he is also


chair of the medical Association in Wales. He says a lack of hospital


doctors could cause severe problems this summer.


There is a crisis how and it will precipitate out in August of next


year. Hospitals will have difficulty recruiting for specific specialties


and our concern is that health boards will then use that as an


excuse to close services based on safety issues.


Doctor Banfield says the cause of this problem is twofold. Wales does


not attract enough trainee doctors. And those who do qualify here do not


stay. The reality is that Wales is not


physically large enough to provide specialist training, so junior


doctors at some point have to leave Wales in order to get a training


across a wider experience. He says the problem is they do not return


and more needs to be done to encourage them back.


Welsh Government and health boards are perfectly aware of the problems


they have got and what we need is to get them together with the


profession and the higher education institutions, the universities, to


plan their way out of this. When it comes to general practice,


Doctor Charlotte Jones says there simply are not enough doctors across


Wales to meet demand. GPs are absolutely on their knees. Their


workload is saturated, demand is ever-increasing. The expectations


placed on GPs are ever-increasing. The complexes the lovely type of


work we do as well as less complex work but lots of demand means that


we are actually completely stretched to capacity -- the complexity of the


type of work. She says this affects the whole of


Wales. The Wales report has seen the initial findings of an ongoing


survey which suggests there will be a worrying shortage of doctors in


the next five years. Of the 282 GPs practices already questioned, a


third say that they have a vacancy to be filled over the next 12


months. What I am concerned about is Will there be GP practices shutting?


What we need to see is a significant investment within the recruitment


and retention of GPs right now, as well as looking into the medium and


long-term. The Royal College agrees. Surgeries are underfunded. Their


latest research suggests more money is needed to bring the nub of


doctors in Wales back to adequate levels. -- number.


We will have to spend an extra ?140 million over the coming years. The


pressure is taking its toll. Some GPs are burning out and others are


even taking early retirement. They simply cannot take any more in


the job and that is so hard to see. It is so unnecessary really. If the


problems were addressed properly and sustainably, then I think that we


would have a flourishing Welsh general practice, which is what we


all want. Many nurses across Wales are


complaining they are overwhelmed by the pressures of understaffing.


Latest research from the Royal College of Nursing shows they are


doing more unpaid overtime because there are not enough staff and that


each nurse in Wales treats more patients than those working in other


parts of the UK. When anything goes wrong, it is the sing staff that are


heralded up for not giving appropriate care and poor care. --


nursing staff. But when we examine quite a number of those issues, it


is down to resources. And nurses themselves are saying, I am fed at


going home at the end of the day feeling that I have not cut the time


to care. Budget restraints have led to intermittent recruitment freezes


across some health boards. Instead of taking


Bethan Rhys Roberts presents a current affairs series taking a look at issues that matter in Wales and holds decision-makers to account. Plus, the team delve into the pressing matters affecting everyone in Wales.

Is there a recruitment crisis in the Welsh NHS? And does the Welsh media adequately reflect life in Wales?

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