By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Having previously highlighted concerns raised by residents over plans to house 400 single male asylum seekers in Flintshire’s former Northop Hall Country House Hotel, and subsequently met the residents already living on the proposed site, my response to the Statement by the Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, ‘Update on a Nation of Sanctuary’ included “Although this is a Home Office matter, and I have referred it to them accordingly, do you agree that the rights and vulnerabilities of people already living on a proposed asylum seeker accommodation site should be paramount from the outset?”

I also questioned the Minister about action taken to get Ukrainian guests into longer term accommodation.

Questioning the Health Minister, I referred to RNIB Cymru’s report, ‘Make it Make Sense, Inaccessible Information: A Health Inequality’, which “highlights the issue of accessible patient communications, putting patients with sight loss at risk” and states “more than half of the people we surveyed have received information from their GP (56 per cent) or hospital (54 per cent) in a format they could not read”, adding ‘this has serious practical, health and emotional consequences’.

I asked the Minister “how do you therefore respond to the call by RNIB Cymru for Local Health Boards to receive support and funding to upgrade their IT systems so that patient communication requirements in GP surgeries, and across primary and secondary health care settings, can be recorded and actioned for every patient?”

With the majority of deaf children falling behind their hearing peers and at high risk of social exclusion, bullying, poor mental health and lower employment prospects, I met charity Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK), to discuss their work supporting deaf babies and children to learn, listen, speak and have the same opportunities as their hearing peers through a specialist early intervention programme, Auditory Verbal therapy. They state that, at present, over 92% of deaf children under the age 5 who could benefit from this are unable to access it, with no qualified Auditory Verbal therapists working in the NHS and local services in Wales.

I Chaired a meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Disability, and joined a Meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Co-operatives & Mutuals.

Other engagements included meeting local residents to discuss their concerns about Lightsource bp proposals for the Plas Power Solar Project near Coedpoeth, especially the impact of its very close proximity to their homes, and the Annual General Meeting of AVOW (Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham).

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.