Wales issues guide: Health and Social Services

The NHS in Wales is run by the Welsh Assembly Government.

It is also responsible for public health policies such as drinking and smoking, and for social services.

Here are the health priorities for the four main parties in Cardiff Bay.

Election issues 2011

Health and social services



Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru

  • Protect the health budget and root out waste in health spending.
  • Increase investment for stroke services by £6m and for hospices by £8m.
  • Create a £10m cancer drugs fund.
  • Appoint a cancer co-ordinator to implement a robust national cancer plan and create a deputy minister for public health - focusing on the causes of ill-health, not just the symptoms.
  • Deliver more health services more locally. This will require rebalancing services to provide more care in the community setting, closer to patients' homes.
  • Improve access to GP surgeries in the evening and at weekends for working people. Surgeries should also provide more online appointments for flexible GP bookings.
  • Continue to press for improvements in the ambulance service, requiring swift response times to calls where patients face immediately life-threatening illness.
  • Develop the wider availability of seven-day services including extended access to consultant led services.
  • Require a zero-tolerance approach to health care associated infections.
  • Improve support and care for people being diagnosed and recovering from cancer. Each person diagnosed with cancer with access to an identified key worker.
  • Cut waiting times by cutting waste. Improve healthcare by switching ineffective spending in the NHS to the frontline.
  • Rapidly increasing the use of personal budgets for care services, allocating a budget that people can control themselves. They can then decide how to spend this to meet their care needs and achieve agreed outcomes, in line with a personalised support plan.
  • Implement a national comprehensive cancer plan, using money currently in the NHS budget to fund the most effective medicines and therapies. Better facilities will help cut waiting times and improve patients' quality of life.
  • A doctor and dentist when you need one. Quicker and more effective healthcare by re-negotiating the contracts of GPs and dentists in order to increase their availability and improve out-of-hours provision.
  • Reduce waiting times and maintain commitment to strengthening district general hospitals to provide services as close to people as possible.
  • Implement a national cancer plan which will include a specialist key worker for every patient and a director of cancer services.
  • Introduce personal health plans to prevent people from falling ill.
  • Improve ambulance services and response times by abolishing the current ambulance trust and transferring responsibility to local health boards.

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