PLAID CYMRU has accused the Welsh Government of exacerbating the country’s doctor shortage after figures showed they slashed their recruitment budget.
A Freedom of Information application by Plaid Cymru has found that the Welsh Government spent just over £1,000 on recruiting doctors in the same calendar year they were planning the centralisation of key hospital services due to a shortage of doctors.
The FOI showed the Welsh Government spent just £1,115 during the 2013/14 financial year on doctor recruitment – which was a staggering 40 times less than the previous calendar year’s amount of £45,326.
The FOI also revealed that the Welsh Government only undertook one initiative to recruit doctors in a period covering more than three years up to September of this year.
Previous FOI results to local health boards have showed that few efforts to recruit from abroad have been made.
Elin Jones AM, Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister, said the Welsh Government was blaming a doctor shortage for the NHS’s ills when there was little or no evidence of it acting to alleviate the problem.
The AM for Ceredigion, a constituency which has been subject to controversial centralisation plans, told The Herald: “The Welsh Government is sitting on its hands and refusing to take workforce planning seriously. These figures show they are content to throw in the towel when faced with the challenge of providing services to areas of Wales where it is difficult to recruit.
“Up to 40% of GPs in the south Wales valleys are approaching retirement and parts of rural Wales are already seeing full or partial closures of surgeries due to a GP shortage.
“This can’t-do approach is not good enough if the Labour Welsh Government is to ensure a sustainable NHS for all of Wales. They need to be much more proactive in providing the levels of staff needed to deliver essential services.
“The SNP Government has shown what can be achieved when you have an ambitious and forward-thinking administration because they have almost 50% more GPs relative to population than we have in Wales.
“The figures also pose serious question marks about the case for centralisation. This was sold on the basis that it was necessary due to a doctor shortage.
“Is that shortage really a surprise when little is being done to tackle the recruitment crisis?
“People will be asking whether the Welsh Government’s case was flawed from the very beginning in light of these figures.”
Penrhyn-coch Brownies compose song
PENRHYN-COCH Brownies were congratulated for composing a new Welsh language song recently. The workshops were part of a program of Welsh language workshops organised by Cered – Menter Iaith Ceredigion.
Following a series of workshops with the young singer, Mari Mathias from Talgarreg, the girls decided to compose a song. ‘Yn yr Haf’ was recorded with the girls singing and Mari on the guitar. All the group members received a copy of the song on CD.
Rhodri Francis, Cered’s Development Officer said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the group and we congratulate members on their masterpiece. Thanks also to the leaders for their enthusiasm in securing opportunities for the members to socialise in Welsh outside of school hours.”
Cered’s main aim is to support, influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion through partnership and co-operation, to establish the best possible foundation for the development of the language in the society and community.
Wendy Reynolds, leader of the Brownies unit in Penrhyn-coch said: “The experience has been amazing for the girls and they’ve had a lot of fun doing activities through the medium of Welsh.”
Follow all the news about the wider work of Cered, through liking the Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith or follow on Twitter @MICered.
For more information on Cered, phone 01545 572350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theatre caravan coming to Aberystwyth
THE SMALLEST cinema in a theatre caravan will be on the Promenade in Aberystwyth for three Saturdays this summer.
Staff from Ceredigion Museum, together with the Friends of Ceredigion Museum, will be hosting a series of free entertaining events in and around the theatre caravan on July 28, August 4, and August 11 between 12pm and 4pm.
Sarah Morton, the Events Organiser for Ceredigion Museum said, “We have a series of short local films from the National Film and Screen Archive which links to our summer exhibition relating to the seaside at the museum, in the old Coliseum Theatre. The two minute films show people on the beach and promenade in Aberystwyth as well as Y Borth. We will also have singing from the Showtime Singers to add to the entertainment.
“We will be situated in and near the bandstand and hope to be able to bring some of the traditions of a typical coastal break back to life.”
Besides the theatre caravan, there will be a Guess-the-Object held in the bandstand with museum staff to aid in identifying the mystery objects.
For more details about the caravan and the entertainment, contact Sarah Morton at Ceredigion Museum on 01970 633088
Surprise presentation for retiring cook
AFTER feeding hundreds of children in her role as cook at Ysgol Eglwyswrw for the past 40 years, Mrs Anona Williams is finally hanging up her apron. But there was a shock in store for Mrs Williams when she arrived at the school for one of her last days at work on Tuesday (Jul 17).
Cameras from the S4C magazine programme, Heno, were present to capture her receiving a special award from music conductor and presenter, Alwyn Humphreys.
She started at her post in 1978 and during that time has fed three generations including her own niece and nephew and great-niece and great-nephew.
Headteacher, Edryd Eynon, said Mrs Williams would be sadly missed.
“We will miss her delicious meals and her caring nature,” he said.
“She spoils all the children and is like a grandmother to them. Her contribution to the school is priceless.
“She ran the breakfast and the Cook It clubs and ensured all pupils had an exciting experiences working with food and preparing many delicious recipes.
“Every sports day she would prepare and donate coffee, tea and her famous scones and all the money she raised would be given to school funds. She did this for 40 years.
“Mrs Williams will be sadly missed at Ysgol Eglwyswrw not only for her delicious food – especially her pizza and coleslaw – but also for her caring and loving character. We wish her all the best for the future.”
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