Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Welsh LibDems press health agenda

Betsi Cadwalaldr health board

Responding to the suggestion that board members should be suspended over the Tawel Fan scandal, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said it was only right people were “held to account” at all levels.

“I think the chair of Betsi (Peter Higson) and indeed everybody involved in the situation needs to think about what role they have played in the situation to date.”

Need for an independent watchdog

Leader Kirsty Williams said: "The latest round of shocking reports on care within our NHS reveals a complete failure of all the systems that should be in place to protect our most vulnerable people."

They show that the current watchdog, Health Inspectorate Wales, is "not fit for purpose". "The current system for inspecting hospitals in Wales should be scrapped and replaced by a new organisation which is independent from government."

Peter Black AM and party leader Kirsty Williams oppose E-cig ban

Welsh Lib Dem AM Kirsty Williams AM said: “The evidence for this decision is wafer thin. Banning things just for the sake of it isn’t a position any Government should take.

“There is very little evidence to date that e-cigs emit anything more harmful than water vapour. Therefore any ban on e-cigs is completely unjustifiable.”

South Wales West AM Peter Black has added:

"Ministers argue they do not want to take the risk of seeing smoking 'normalised' again after the success of the smoking ban.

"So by their own admission they are seeking to regulate a perfectly legal activity so as to change people's behaviour. The precedent that this sets is quite concerning and heralds the beginning of a nanny state or worse.

"The anti-smoking campaign group ASH Wales, Cancer Research UK and Tenovus are among those opposed to this ban whilst the British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation and the Royal College of Physicians want more evidence. Furthermore in a public consultation on the proposals last year, 79% of responses were opposed. So it is not as if there is a public clamour for this measure either. Why does the Government bother consulting when it has already made up its mind?

"Some people who vape are concerned that they will now be cast outside to join the smokers and that this will lead to them returning to smoking. Indeed there is some evidence in other countries that this is what has happened. There is strong evidence that e-cigarettes have enabled a large number of people to give up smoking, something that decades of lectures by government has failed to do."

Welsh Lib Dems Call For End To Gay Blood Ban

Marking National Blood Week, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government to end the ban on men who have sex with men (MSM) giving blood.

Peter Black AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Equalities Minister, said: “National Blood Week has brought to our attention that the blood service needs 204,000 extra donors to meet demand. Given this huge demand for blood donors, I completely fail to understand why the ban on men who have sex with men giving blood is still in place.

“This ban not only turns away thousands of willing and healthy potential donors, but it also serves to reinforce negative stereotypes about gay and bisexual men. Straight people get HIV too, and all donated blood is tested for HIV and other diseases before being transfused for precisely that reason.

“The sooner this unfair and discriminatory ban is lifted, the sooner our blood services can benefit from a greater supply of donated blood and more lives can be saved.”

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