30/04/2014 The Wales Report


30/04/2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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comes to recruiting and retaining staff in hospitals, general practice

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

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and this summer could see GP practices closing and hospitals

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unable to offer certain services. Helen Callaghan has been

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investigating. When you are ill, you expect the

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

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

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

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entire NHS -- recruitment problems are affecting.

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

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

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would describe it as a perfect storm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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doctors could cause severe problems this summer.

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

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year. Hospitals will have difficulty recruiting for specific specialties

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

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excuse to close services based on safety issues.

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

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

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stay. The reality is that Wales is not

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physically large enough to provide specialist training, so junior

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

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

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and more needs to be done to encourage them back.

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Welsh Government and health boards are perfectly aware of the problems

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

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profession and the higher education institutions, the universities, to

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

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Doctor Charlotte Jones says there simply are not enough doctors across

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

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

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

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

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

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type of work. She says this affects the whole of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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all want. Many nurses across Wales are

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complaining they are overwhelmed by the pressures of understaffing.

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Latest research from the Royal College of Nursing shows they are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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to care. Budget restraints have led to intermittent recruitment freezes

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across some health boards. Instead of taking

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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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