- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
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Mike Hedges MS welcomes £800m stabilisation package for Welsh NHS
Local Welsh Labour Member of the Senedd for Swansea East, Mike Hedges, has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s announcement of a new £800 million stabilisation package that will help the Welsh NHS continue to respond and recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
This latest package of support takes the total amount of Welsh Labour Government Covid-19 support for NHS organisations to more than £1.3 billion.
The new £800m fund will:
• Help the NHS across Wales to prepare for the anticipated challenges that winter will bring including a potential second wave of the virus, normal winter pressures – and continue to increase access to essential services.
• Enable a strategic approach to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both the health and social care sectors – including GPs, dentists and optometrists – establishing a ‘buffer’ of supplies to respond to any second wave of infections.
• Help deliver Wales’ largest ever flu campaign, announced last month, which will ensure more people than ever will benefit from the free flu vaccine programme in preparation for winter.
• Ensure faster turnaround of test results to support contact tracing, so that Wales can respond rapidly to contain any spread of the virus.
• Provide health boards with sufficient capacity, both through existing hospital sites and access to field hospitals as a contingency, if needed.
Member of the Senedd for Swansea East, Mike Hedges, said:
“Our health and social care services have faced unprecedented pressures in the fight against Covid-19. Our health and social care staff have gone above and beyond to support our communities, by delivering compassionate and professional care during this crisis.
“There’s a real possibility that we’ll see further peaks during the Autumn and Winter months, so it’s great to see that the Welsh Labour Government is planning for this and is investing in this new fund now, which will support the Welsh NHS to prepare for this.
“I am confident that this announcement will provide our NHS with the stability it needs as it continues to respond to the pandemic.”
The Welsh Labour Government is also continuing to work with local authorities to understand the considerable pressures they are facing and their priorities so that we can provide them with further support.
Notes to editors:
The First Supplementary Budget for 2020-21 provided an additional £573m to the Health and Social Services portfolio to support the COVID response in Wales. £492million of this funding supported Health Boards and Trusts to meet the costs of responding to Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic. This money was allocated for provision of personal protective equipment, field hospitals, additional staffing, testing and additional medical equipment and consumables.
The £800m stabilisation funding includes extra funding for an increased winter flu vaccination programme (£11.7m), which was announced on 24 July.
The additional funding for the Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) programme is not part of the £800m. This includes £45m which will flow to NHS Wales to support the costs of contact tracing being incurred in Local Authorities as part of the TTP programme and funding will be transferred between organisations at a local level.