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New treatment fund for life threatening illnesses

The Welsh Labour Government over the last five years has delivered record investment in the NHS and spends £172 more per person than patients in England.

Welsh Labour will deliver investment in Primary Care to move services and care out of hospitals, into local communities and closer to people’s homes, and will create new treatment fund for life threatening illnesses.

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We recognise the value of Community Pharmacies and will continue to invest in these to deal with minor ailments. We have developed the skills of clinical pharmacists, recruited by GP practices in areas of greatest need and employed to provide patient facing services to help reduce pressure on other health services. We want to look at support run from clinics, online consultations and new medical technology instead of appointments.

Despite record Tory cuts to the Welsh budget, Welsh Labour has delivered record investment in the NHS and social care, employing more staff than ever. We will give Welsh patients access to treatments for life threatening illnesses through the New Treatment Fund, which will make cutting-edge treatments available to patients here. This is in contrast to the Tories' English cancer drugs fund, which has a narrow focus and has been proven to fail.

Welsh Labour's Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, has announced a new Wellbeing Bond, supporting communities to provide local health services: "The NHS does a fantastic job treating people's illnesses and injuries every single day – it is a truly life-saving service. But we know it is under pressure as a result of underlying levels of ill health in our population – a third of people say their daily life is limited as the result of ill health or disability. If we want our NHS to be there for us in the future, we all need to help the health service today by doing more to look after our own health. The Wales Wellbeing Bond will provide the upfront funding to set up new community services and projects to help people do just that."

We will also maintain the Independent Living Fund, which provides vital lifeline for vulnerable adults with learning difficulties.

Wales led the way in the last Assembly by changing the way organs are donated. By moving to a 'presumed consent' system, where it is assumed that organs can be donated unless people specifically opt out, thousands of lives will be saved. The new system, which came into effect on 1 December 2015, has been designed to make it for people to become an organ donor, and reflects what the majority of people in Wales say they want.

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Wales has the fastest-increasing cancer survival rates in the UK. Wales' Cancer Delivery Plan delivers really effective cancer care and recognises the need for ongoing investment in cancer support and development of technology and services. Rather than having a cancer drugs fund, Welsh Labour will ensure that we spend money on the right drugs for all diseases and conditions. NHS Wales already provides all drugs that have been judged to be effective and if there are specific drugs that are required by individual patients this is also considered.

The Welsh Labour Government will continue to prioritise mental health treatment, support, prevention and de-escalation of illnesses by giving people better access to talking therapies at early stages. We will continue working to end the stigma of mental illness and work with schools, employers and other partners to improve wellbeing at work, in education and in our communities.

I have spent time talking to people on the ground and to those delivering frontline services to find out what improvements they want to see. In Wales we have a World leading adjustment of targets - we've stopped chasing times and moved to putting patients at the centre of care delivery. By spending that extra 20 seconds on the phone to find out the issues, Ambulance crews are hitting the old 8 minute response targets better, and more people are getting the right care at the right time. Emphasis is on how successful the service is at treating people rather than measuring how fast you can get a crew to a scene.

We know not everything can be done overnight; or in one Assembly term but we believe that only Labour can protect the NHS – an NHS which is free at the point of need; free from privatisation and there when you need it most.

Don't let the Tories run riot and bring NHS privatisation to Wales, and don't let the Lib Dems help them do it!

Vote Labour on 5th May

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Could you spare a few hours in the next week to help the campaign to re-elect Jenny Rathbone, and secure the future of our Welsh NHS, publicly-run and free at the point of use? Click here to email or call 02920 256 255 to let us know how you can help.

 

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Jenny Rathbone | Assembly Member for Cardiff Central

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