Wednesday, January 31, 2007

NHS in Wales

Some of us suspect that the "announce a policy a day" campaign mounted by Bayview House has a significant resemblance to the posters of a certain Yorkshire-based supermarket chain.

However, Reason Number 24 to shop at - sorry, vote for - Liberal Democrats in May is one which will appeal to many people.

The headline about a minimum standard of service may not mean much, but the detail will strike a chord with contributors to the Evening Post in recent weeks:

"Welsh Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jenny Randerson, said:

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will put patients first in improving our national health service. That means that when the NHS is taking care of you, you should be entitled to a certain standard of service.

"A minimum standard of service would include what can be expected at hospital and patient access to information. Putting patients first means delivering healthcare when it's needed and to a guaranteed level. That doesn't mean burdening health professionals with more targets - instead we must shift the focus onto the actual service that the patient receives through their pathway of treatment.

"A minimum standard of service would mean raising the nutritional standards for hospital food and ensuring that assistants are there to help elderly patients at meal times. It means involving patients more at every stage of their treatment, such as copying them into correspondence between GPs, consultants and other specialists relating to their pathway through the NHS.

"We will develop and promote better schemes to reimburse payment of hospital travel and parking costs. This would include a review of hospital charges. We would also expect to develop good practice such as patient-NHS agreements on the course of treatment, where and when patients are treated and what other help they need."

- Frank Little

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