Labour’s health minister has been told “enough is enough” following a catalogue of errors within the Welsh NHS.
Natasha Asghar MS, who represents South East Wales, laid bare Baroness Eluned Morgan’s failures during a no confidence vote in the Welsh Parliament today .
During the debate, Natasha highlighted the dire state of the NHS in Wales and raised some of her constituents’ concerns.
She told the Welsh Parliament: “In my constituency of South East Wales, we are looking at nearly 5,000 patient pathways waiting over two years for treatment in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – in Cwm Taf this number doubles to more than 10,000.
“That’s patients waiting in pain, in distress and in frustration for over 105 weeks; 735 days; 17,520 hours.
“Just over half – 56% - of patients at The Grange’s A&E were seen within four hours. 1-in-5 patients are the hospital are waiting over 12 hours to be seen.”
She then asked Baroness Morgan, who survived no no confidence vote: “Is this acceptable in a flagship hospital?”
Natasha added: “I have a constituent who has laid bare the problems of your Government’s reorganisation of A&E services in Aneurin Bevan, relying on 1 hospital, situated out in the back of beyond, to take the strain of health services in South East Wales.
“They let me know their partner needed to go to hospital and, given no ambulances were available - despite the emergency - they drove to The Grange.
“On arriving, they found the waiting room full beyond its capacity, with relatives being told to go outside.
“During their lengthy wait, they saw patients who were being given infusions in every spare bit of space and they were told their partner couldn’t be discharged due to lack of bed space in other hospitals.
“Is this dignified care, Minister? Is this an NHS fit for the 21st Century? I think not.”
Natasha told the Health Minister: “Enough is enough.”
In November 2022, Health Inspectorate Wales declared that the A&E department at the Grange was in urgent need of improvement – despite the hospital only being two years old at the time.
Speaking outside the chamber, Natasha Asghar MS said:
“I do feel sorry for the Health Minister as she is not solely to blame for running the Welsh NHS into the ground.
“Things were in a downward spiral when she took over the job from Vaughan Gething and the situation wasn’t any better when Mark Drakeford was health minister, but enough is enough now.
“Eluned Morgan has been in the job for nearly two years now and things are going from bad to worse with waiting lists continue to spiral out of control instead of improving.
“The majority of emails landing in my inbox from constituents are about health care in South East Wales and it’s rare that any of them are positive. Instead, they often outline heart-breaking and frustrating accounts of what it is like using Welsh NHS services.
“This is not at all a criticism of the hardworking NHS staff who go above and beyond every single day. They are being let down by poor leadership at the top of the ladder.
“My constituents have clearly had enough, and I have had enough. The public deserves better.”