By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

I called for an urgent Welsh Government statement on GP services in Wales after North Wales Community Health Council said the previous week that people were ‘facing a crisis of access’ to GPs and BMA Cymru said ‘an ongoing problem had been made worse by the pandemic’.

The BMA’s Welsh Consultant Committee has repeatedly raised concerns over the last few years that the situation in Wales’ Health and Care system was worsening, and its Chair has warned ‘If action is not taken immediately to resolve this situation then patients will die’.

Responding to the Statement by the Economy Minister on the UK Government’s EU successor funds, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and Levelling Up Fund, I said the multi-billion European Structural Fund Programme funding administered by successive Welsh Governments failed to close the prosperity gap and noted that community organisations in Flintshire had told me they have been included in the Levelling Up funding bids.

Speaking in the Senedd short debate ‘Hands up on Holden - Time for transparency on mental health services in North Wales’, I referred to the 2013 Holden Report, commissioned after patient deaths and complaints by 42 staff, and stated “Two patients in North Wales mental health units have died from hanging and attempted hanging over the last year. Families identify a categoric failure of the regulatory framework by all Statutory bodies to react to Holden. The onus is now on the Welsh Government to ensure transparency and to show that it is not complicit in a cover up”.

I visited the Carers Trust North Wales Crossroads Care Services at their new North Wales Dementia Centre in Mochdre, which is unique in Wales. Speaking in the Senedd debate on Dementia later in the week, I urged the Welsh Government to look at the Centre as a best practice model.

Senedd engagements included Chairing the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee; Cross-Party Groups on Cancer, Tourism, Violence Against Women and Children, and STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine), at which I was elected Vice Chair; the launch of British Heart Foundation Wales’ new campaign on the impact of heart disease on women; and an introductory meeting with my Intern for 2021-2022.

As Wales Species Champion for the Curlew, I also joined RSPB Officers for a visit to the Curlew Life Project in Conwy County, which is working to deliver concrete action to halt the decline of Curlew in five priority landscapes across the UK.

If you need my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.