By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

As Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Hospice and Palliative Care in the Welsh Parliament, I was pleased to re-visit wonderful Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham, for a meeting with the Hospice’s new Chief Executive Officer and a tour of its modernised facilities, including new in-patient unit.

In 2019, the Hospice embarked on a four-phase modernisation programme that would enable it to expand its services and increase its capacity to help more people in Wrexham and surrounding areas with a palliative/life limiting diagnosis. The impressive redevelopment works were completed in December, with the new facilities available to patients in early January.

As Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Disability in the Welsh Parliament, I was glad to attend the North Wales Disabled People's Organisations (DPO) Summit at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, a chance for Disability Wales to bring together Disabled People’s Organisations, funders and public bodies in North Wales to discuss the ongoing funding difficulties and barriers they are facing.

As we heard, despite disabled people having rights under legislation, those rights are not being delivered.

As we also heard, the Welsh Government and Public Bodies talk about ‘co-production’, but there seems to be a reluctance and fear to embrace a co-productive approach to service development, when we need instead to be breaking down the barriers between people who provide services and those who use them, seeing everyone as equal partners, designing, delivering and monitoring services together.

I visited Community and Voluntary Support Conwy (CVSC), the umbrella body set up to develop and promote voluntary and community action in the County of Conwy, to meet its new Chief Officer and the team at their office in Colwyn Bay.

Discussion included their grants distribution; their Community Support Hub; some of the challenges the third sector faces over the coming months and years; how the sector can support local communities; and how Public Bodies are cutting commissioned services from the third sector, despite the third sector subsidising Local Authorities and Health Boards, saving them millions.

I also met with a group of Wrexham parents to discuss their concerns regarding the process of securing appropriate college education for their disabled young adult children. As they said, these decisions should be based on evidence and individual needs.

It was concerning to hear reports that some tourists are reconsidering visiting Wales over the 20mph speed limit. This is one of many reasons we would scrap this limit and ensure its use only where it is really needed.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.