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'Brass neck' jibe over Lib-Dem leader's health bill blast

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: September 08, 2012

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THE leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has criticised the amount of money spent on agency health staff in Wales — and been accused of having a "brass neck" in response.

Kirsty Williams (left) was referring to the £260million spent over the past five years on locum, agency or other non-permanent staff.

The amount dropped slightly last financial year.

Ms Williams said: "It is astounding that when we see wards and services closed because of a lack of staffing, last year the NHS in Wales still spent £55million on locum or agency staff when it could have been employing full-time medical staff to treat people across the country.

"Over the last five years, the NHS in Wales has spent over £58million on agency and locum nurses, midwives and health visitors.

"That money could have employed nearly 2,500 full-time nurses over the past five years. Instead, Labour and (Health Minister) Lesley Griffiths's record on the NHS is one of ward closures, cancelled operations and missed waiting times."

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said "The Welsh Lib Dem Leader has a brass neck. Her party's support for slashing the Welsh Government's budget in the name of austerity has been nothing short of a national disgrace.

"Despite Lib Dem-Tory cuts, the Welsh Labour Government's commitment to the NHS could not be clearer. We have invested more than 40 per cent of our total budget in health and social services. As a result, there are now an additional 1,800 frontline staff working in the NHS in Wales than there were in 2007, with 302 more consultants and 86 more GPs working in our local communities.

"At the same time, there are 801 fewer administration and estates staff."

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  • Neathboy234  |  September 09 2012, 7:54PM

    It's easy to knock the LD, we have to remember without them there would be no government both in London and in Cardiff. Just think of the utter mess we'd be in without the influence of Clegg and co

    |   1
  • weslangdon  |  September 09 2012, 10:12AM

    "i am paul, i am special and my favourite hobbie is cycling and line dancing" this was posted by my son who thought he was being funny I have asked the admin to remove it but as of yet they haven't so apologies to anyone offended.

  • siarad2  |  September 08 2012, 9:38PM

    Sorry... Sorry, failed to add comment : Gateway Time-out Well it's not 'internal server error' for a change. So has there been a U-turn, didn't the gov. say the NHS spending has been ring-fenced at inflation+ until 2013 Also where has the more than doubled NHS spending gone since 1997.

    |   1
  • siarad2  |  September 08 2012, 9:33PM

    Sorry... Sorry, failed to add comment : Gateway Time-out Well it's not 'internal server error' for a change. So has there been a U-turn, didn't the gov. say the NHS spending has been ring-fenced at inflation+ until 2013 Also where has the more than doubled NHS spending gone since 1997.

  • siarad2  |  September 08 2012, 9:29PM

    So has there been a U-turn, didn't the gov. say the NHS spending has been ring-fenced at inflation+ until 2013 Also where has the more than doubled NHS spending gone since 1997.

    |   1
  • paul0453  |  September 08 2012, 8:41PM

    Weslangdon & Sochat- I didn't comment on who is in power in Wales. I commented that the Lib-Dems are always looking for a bandwagon to jump on. They never suggest solutions.

    |   4
  • Neathboy234  |  September 08 2012, 8:29PM

    sochat i don't care who's in power, be they Labour, Tories, Plaid, or LD just as long as the extreme right wing are not. UKIP and the BNP should be rejected at all times.

    |   1
  • sochat  |  September 08 2012, 8:24PM

    paul0453 liebor are in power in Wales you moron.

    |   -3
  • Neathboy234  |  September 08 2012, 7:30PM

    Well we know what labour would do with the Welsh NHS, they are doing it now. Mind you they are doing a better job than is happening in england

    |   1
  • weslangdon  |  September 08 2012, 7:13PM

    i am paul, i am special and my favourite hobbie is cycling and line dancing

    |   -6

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