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11 July 2014
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Your NHS

Dr Benton works a twelve hour day

Working shorter shifts

Dr Benton works an average twelve hour day in a big hospital. He says that the shift patterns have improved. But shorter shifts mean more doctors are needed - and there's a shortage.

Birth of the NHS

Birth of the NHS

The National Health Service was established on the 5th of July 1948. Founded by Aneurin Bevan, the Minister of Health, the main principles of the NHS were to provide a free, comprehensive service for all, funded by general taxation.

Funding new treatments

Funding new treatments

David Lloyd Davies was recommended brachytherapy to treat his prostrate cancer by his GP. He was then told it wouldn't be funded by the NHS in Wales. Should the latest treatments always be available for free?

Campaigns against hospital closures

Hospital closures

Summer 2006 saw campaigns against hospital closures in Aberytswyth, Haverfordwest and Llandudno. But should more specialist care be placed in larger hospitals, or should services be more local to the patient?

Travel for treatment

Travel for treatment

87 year old Muriel Buckby has to travel 500 miles each week for her three sessions of radiotherapy. The care she gets is vital to treat her breast cancer, but she find the return trip from her home in Powys to Cheltenham draining. Powys Local Health Board say that, because of the scale of equipment and clinical expertise needed, it's not possible to provide the care more locally.

Healthcare before the NHS

Paying for a doctor

Before the NHS, patients would have to pay for a doctor. This often lead to people avoiding seeing a doctor at all, even in potentially life-threatening situations.

Asian doctors arrive in Wales

Asian doctors

By the time of the 1970s cutbacks, asian doctors were an established part of the health service here in Wales - particularly in the more deprived parts of the country. However, they weren't always welcomed.

Waiting for treatment

Waiting times

Waiting times for treatment in Wales (currently 12 months) are currently behind those in England. There, hospitals had a six month treatment target to work to. So why should patients here have a longer wait?

Cottage hospital closures

Cottage hospital closures

Using archive news stories, The Welsh Way of Life looks at how cottage hospitals in Wales were closed in favour of new and large hospitals.

Swansea loses neurosurgery unit

Loss of neurosurgery unit

Swansea looks set to lose its neurosurgery unit. It means patients in mid and west Wales will have to travel further for treatment. The decision has caused political outrage.

Who pays for NHS debt?

NHS debt

Valerie Hobbs suffers from cluster headache attacks. An experimental treatment is available but Health Commission Wales, who are 10 million pounds overspent, won't pay for it.

Funding community cancer services

Funding cancer services

A cancer counselling service set up in Tonypandy is facing a massive reduction in services as its lottery funding ends. Patients claim that the service is essential and makes a real difference to people's lives.

Fight for breast cancer drug

Herceptin availability

Kay Rowlands spent months fighting to get her local health board in Swansea to fund breast cancer drug Herceptin. Making the drug available across the NHS in Britain could cost 100 million pounds, but it could save the lives of 1000 women.

The effects of thalidomide


In the late 1950s, thalidomide was given to pregnant women as a cure for morning sickness, but the drug caused severe impairments in their babies.

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Re-structure the management of hospitals to free up some much needed money to employ more nursing and midwifery staff. Some of us are training for 3 years and being used as staff whilst training and then get no job at the end of it, its is unfair!!

james ford
reduce number of managers , they have been responsible for failure of nhs.

nick bevan cardiff
Try to improve the hospitals you already have rather then spending public money on new hospitals and creating new committees to increase already too many managers.The money can be well spent on drugs patients need.

nick cardiff
need to decrease number of managers , the more you increase the more they create budget deficit and problems

NHS worker, Blaenau Gwent
Why do there have to be 22 LHB's in Wales, 5 of those in Gwent commissioning services for one Trust? with 5 chief execs, 5 chairman, 5 nurse directors, 5 clinical directors, 5 finance directors, and 5 of every other post duplicated throughout the five boroughs of Gwent for one healthcare trust. Why do they not pool their resources and save the salaries of these duplicated posts and put the savings toward direct patient healthcare??

Simon Roberts
All my life (50 years) I've been a severe epileptic and twice in this last year I've had major fits within the University Hospital of Wales. Is the government underestimating the needs of epileptics? Apparently Wales receives the least ammount of funds for epilepsy treatment.

Sarah, Torfaen
When are we going to realise that the NHS has run it's course. I would be very happy to opt out of the national insurance payment every month. Waiting more than a week to see a GP then 18 months for a consultant....I would be quite happy use that cash to pay a private health scheme, been seen immediately (probably by the same consultant)rather than dragging out any illness longer than necessary !!

Glyn, Cwmbran
Please Please, do not put any new hospital in to the city of Newport. One day last week I had to take a friend to RGH. from Cwmbran, which if there was no other cars etc on the road, would take 10 mines. Last week it took 55 mines and then another 30 to find some place to park. The RGH is past its time and Newport has no place in the placement of the new hospital.

tony powell cardiff
I cannot thank the staff enough in university Hospital cardiff who are loking after my son

Gerald, Swansea
There's plenty to moan about the NHS for sure but I still think we have a pretty good deal compared to countries that have to pay for healthcare. The waits in A&E have definitely improved in my experience.Though I'm fed up of having to make appointments to see my GP a full week ahead.

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