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Summary

  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Statement: Consultations on Concessionary Bus Travel
  3. Statement: The National Planned Care Programme
  4. Statement: The Rapid Review of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans 2017-2020
  5. Statement: Integration and Partnership Working in Health and Social Care

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Gwenllian Grigg

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl

    That brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close.

    Senedd Live returns tomorrow morning for a meeting of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

    Senedd
  2. 'Consider options for more direct intervention'

    Rebecca Evans announces she has decided to commission a "large scale review" of the Integrated Care Fund (ICF) during the next financial year.

    The purpose of this work will include "identifying nationally the benefits of how this money is spent by the regional partnership boards and determining whether value for money has been achieved".

    She also says "that regions have made progress in establishing pooled budgets... there remain issues about some regions’ ability to fully implement this requirement by next April.

    "If however I am not satisfied with the way this requirement has been delivered in each region by the end of the forthcoming financial year I will need to consider options for more direct intervention.

    "These are critical services which deal with some of our most vulnerable people."

    Rebecca Evans
  3. Statement by the Minister for Social Services and Public Health

    The final statement of the day is by the Minister for Social Services and Public Health Rebecca Evans: Integration and Partnership Working in Health and Social Care.

    The Welsh Government has been consulting on proposals for new laws to improve the way the NHS and social care services are run and work together in Wales.

    Plans include a "duty of quality" for health boards and replacing community health councils with stronger bodies for patient voices.

    It follows criticism by an influential international body - the OECD - which claimed health boards and social care services in Wales were not working well enough together.

    The OECD had challenged the health and care services in Wales to do more to fulfil their potential
    Image caption: The OECD had challenged the health and care services in Wales to do more to fulfil their potential
  4. 'Ground-breaking policy'

    UKIP's Neil Hamilton commends the minister for the "energy and leadership he has shown on this ground-breaking policy".

    He emphasises the need for "bringing people along by persuasion rather than compulsion".

  5. Call for more clarity on government plans

    Llyr Gruffydd thanks Aled Roberts for his work on the review.

    He says there is a responsibility on local authorities, teachers and parents, but that the government had to show strong and courageous leadership.

    "Without that, then I fear we will start from a place of weakness."

    He welcomes the minister's acceptance of the 18 recommendations in Mr Roberts' report, but he calls for more clarity on many government plans.

    Llyr Gruffydd
  6. 'Very unimpressed by lack of ambition'

    Conservative Darren Millar says he was "very unimpressed by the lack of ambition in some of the local education authority proposals", and he welcomes the report by Aled Roberts.

    He calls for the publication of the minister's correspondence with the local authorities "so we can see what you challenged them about".

  7. 'Examine options on linguistic categorization of schools'

    Alun Davies says the local authorities' plans need to reflect the ambition of Welsh 2050.

    "Innovative approaches need to be considered," he says, adding that "the government will examine options on linguistic categorization of schools".

    Alun Davies
  8. 'Need clear impetus and leadership at the national level'

    The next statement is by the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language, Alun Davies: The Rapid Review of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans 2017-2020.

    The review was led by former Liberal Democrat AM Aled Roberts.

    Local authorities have a statutory duty to prepare and submit Welsh in Education Strategic Plans to Welsh Ministers for their consideration, setting targets for developing Welsh-medium education in their areas.

    The Welsh Government has a target to achieve 1m Welsh speakers by 2050, and Mr Roberts' report states "we need clear impetus and leadership at the national level if we are to achieve the goal".

    Changes to Welsh medium education have proved controversial in counties such as Carmarthenshire and Powys.

    Aled Roberts
    Image caption: The review was led by Aled Roberts
  9. 9% of patients do not attend follow-up appointments

    UKIP's Caroline Jones says it is "disturbing" that around 9% of patients do not attend their follow-up appointments, but adds that "every case is different".

    Caroline Jones
  10. 'Doesn't reflect the reality on the ground'

    Rhun ap Iorwerth says "for too many patients, especially in orthopedics and ophthalmology, especially in the Betsi Cadwaladr area ... hearing a cabinet secretary saying things are getting better doesn't reflect the reality on the ground".

    Rhun
  11. 'Good, bad or indifferent'

    Conservative Angela Burns welcomes the examples of good practice, but wants "to see the results of all the pilots that were run - good, bad or indifferent".

    Angela Burns
  12. 'Needs to be greater pace and consistency among all health boards'

    Vaughan Gething says "some people still wait too long for treatment. Health boards have action plans in place to reduce long waits, and last month, the Welsh Government invested an additional £50 million to help the NHS further improve waiting times.

    "We are seeing improvements in planned care services, however these are not happening quickly enough. There needs to be greater pace and consistency among all health boards in delivering improvement."

    Vaughan Gething
  13. 'Improving patient experience'

    The next item is a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport: The National Planned Care Programme.

    According to the Welsh Government, the aim of the programme is a:

    • reduction in referral to treatment waiting times through actively managing capacity and demand
    • reduction in the number of patient to consultant visits by supporting GPs to manage people in the community
    • reduction in the variability of practices across NHS services in Wales by identifying and sharing areas of good practice, captured in the programme implementation plans.
    Patient care
  14. 'Only of use if public transport is universally available'

    UKIP's David Rowlands expresses a "word of caution - bus passes, free or not, are only of use if public transport is universally available".

    He also criticises "large buses, with diesel engines, running almost empty".

    David Rowlands
  15. Plaid Cymru 'fully supports concessionary fares scheme'

    Dai Lloyd says Plaid Cymru "fully supports the concessionary fares scheme introduced by my former colleague, the former Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones".

    He seeks assurance there will be no reduction in current provision, nor any raising of the threshold of when older people qualify.

    Dai Lloyd
  16. 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'

    "If it ain't broke don't fix it," says Conservative Russell George.

    The Welsh Conservatives have pledged to give free bus travel to all 16-24 year olds in Wales, and have urged Labour ministers to do the same.

    The Green Card - which the Tories said could cost up to £25m a year - would also give a third off rail tickets.

    The Conservatives said the scheme would be funded by scrapping the education maintenance allowance (EMA), which they have previously proposed.

    Russell George
  17. Public consultation on mandatory concessionary fares

    Ken Skates launches a public consultation about the management arrangements for administering mandatory concessionary fares.

    He says "we need to explore whether responsibility for this scheme should remain with our local authorities, or whether this all Wales scheme should be administered centrally by the Welsh Government."

    He adds "this government's commitment to maintaining free bus travel for older people, disabled people and some injured service veterans is unshakeable".

    But he is "seeking views on how best access to free bus travel in Wales can be maintained into the future". The consultation will also "look at how best to facilitate bus use amongst young people".

    Ken Skates
  18. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

    We move on to a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates: Consultations on concessionary bus travel.

    Free bus travel is currently available for older people, disabled people and injured service veterans.

    The current MyTravelPass scheme also gives 16-18 year olds a third off bus fares.

    TrawsCymru