“The balance between providing hope and raising false expectations is a fine line” – Rhun ap Iorwerth responds to Coronavirus Control Plan update

“The balance between providing hope and raising false expectations is a fine line” – Rhun ap Iorwerth responds to Coronavirus Control Plan update

Responding to the update to the Welsh Government’s Coronavirus Control Plan yesterday (Friday 19 March), Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“We have a situation in Wales where businesses often don’t know until the last minute if they’re going to be able to open. Even with this revised guidance, it is not clear what criteria need to be met for lifting of some restrictions.

“The balance between providing hope and raising false expectations is a fine line, but this uncertainty and lack of ability to forward plan even by a few weeks is making this more challenging for the public and for businesses.”

Ynys Môn MS demands end to disparity between health and social care worker pay

Ynys Môn MS demands end to disparity between health and social care worker pay

 The MS for Ynys Môn, Rhun ap Iorwerth has called for reform of pay, terms and conditions to bring in equality of treatment for health and social care staff.

In a debate this afternoon (Wednesday 17 March) in the Senedd, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS called for disparities to end, and for care workers to be paid a guaranteed minimum of £10 an hour.

Under current arrangements, all health workers in the NHS are paid at least the real living wage. That is not the case in the care sector.

A Plaid Cymru government would create a National Health and Care Service, with free social care at the point of need, with health and social care workers put on the same pay scales.

In the Senedd debate today, Rhun ap Iorwerth called on the “next Welsh Government” to introduce a guaranteed minimum of £10 an hour for all care workers.

The Labour Welsh Government has tabled an amendment which deletes this requirement and replaces it with a mention of a new forum – the Social Care Fair Work Forum – which it says is “looking at how to improve terms and conditions in the sector.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“The public has clapped for our carers, now it’s time for government to step up and put a value to the clapping.

“Plaid Cymru has made its commitment to our carers – in government, we will create genuinely seamless National Health AND Care Service, which will give care workers the respect they deserve, putting them on the same terms and conditions and pay scales as health workers.

“If the other political parties in Wales are serious about this, they will have the chance to back Plaid Cymru’s motion in the Senedd today, and commit to delivering a reformed pay and retention settlement for health and social care staff, including a guaranteed minimum of £10 an hour for care workers.

“For our carers, who have put so much into looking after us during the biggest public health crisis in our lifetimes, it is the very least government can do for them”

“This has been a mental health crisis as well as a physical health crisis” – Rhun ap Iorwerth MS

“This has been a mental health crisis as well as a physical health crisis” says Ynys Môn MS Rhun ap Iorwerth

Responding to the health committee’s report on the inquiry into Covid-19 and its impact on mental health and well-being, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said that “The pandemic has caused wider damage than simply the direct physical damage caused by COVID-19 itself”

He added “there’s been an impact on people’s access to mental health services, sometimes because of restrictions and additional pressures on the health service and, at other times, people were not sure where to turn during the pandemic—they weren’t comfortable, perhaps, talking to people on these new digital platforms about things that may be causing them anxiety.”

The Plaid Cymru’s Health Shadow Minister, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS also added “We did discuss during this inquiry the fact that we don’t need to overmedicalise things on all occasions, that we need to take account of our natural, emotional responses—bereavement, sadness, anxiety about the current situation, and so on and so forth—and we need to think of other ways of looking at the well-being of people. I’ve been pushing the Government to do everything possible to allow outdoor exercise and to ensure that people can get out in the outdoors. These are soft approaches but equally important.

Wales Air Ambulance marks 20 years of service.

Wales Air Ambulance marks 20 years of service.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS celebrates St David’s day by thanking 20 years of service from the Welsh Air Ambulance.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “This St David’s day is a very historic one for the Welsh Air Ambulance service, as they reach a very special milestone. This vital service has saved so many lives over the years, and is a service that means a lot to many. ”

Y Wygyr Chip Shop in Cemaes is one of the many businesses that has been raising money for the charity for years and is encouraging anyone to donate, to show their appreciation for the charity’s hard work during this difficult time .

Rhun ap Iorwerth added “I am extremely proud of all the work that the Air Ambulance is doing, we thank them very much, especially over the challenging times of the pandemic. If you can contribute anything to the charity, It would be highly appreciated”

Repeated call to raise self-isolation payment to £800

Repeated call to raise self-isolation payment to £800 

 Responding to news that self-isolation is costing people who do not qualify for financial support hundreds of pounds in lost income, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Finance and Health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“Self-isolation remains a vital part of stopping the spread of coronavirus, and fear of financial hardship is one of the barrier to effective self-isolation. If support isn’t sufficient, and isn’t reaching the right people, our efforts to tackle the pandemic suffer. 

 “Raising the low income self-isolation payment to £800 will help more people stay at home at a time they most need to isolate. This will be an important step in helping stop the virus taking hold again once we ease out of lockdown.”

“With transparency comes trust” – repeated calls for vaccine supply figures to be made public

“With transparency comes trust” – Rhun ap Iorwerth repeats calls for vaccine supply figures to be made public

Responding to questions raised about the supply of vaccines into Wales, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said,

“Transparency is key in maintaining public trust. Everyone involved in the vaccine rollout has done a fantastic job in vaccinating 20% of the Welsh population, but we need to see the flow of vaccines into the four UK nations, to have confidence that we are getting our fair share. 

 “I have repeatedly asked for the data on how much of each vaccination is distributed to all nations, in the spirit of transparency. The Health Minister has indicated he agrees, so the question is – when will this data be made publicly available, so that we can all have confidence that distribution is as open and fair as possible?”

VACCINATION CENTRE ‘GOOD NEWS’ FOR HOLYHEAD

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS welcomes Holyhead vaccination development.

After calling in recent weeks for the setting up of mass vaccination facilites at Holyhead, the MS for Ynys Môn has welcomed the news that a local vaccination centre will open at Ysbyty Penrhos Stanley to vaccinate 2,000 people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said: “With no mass vaccination centre earmarked for Anglesey’s largest town, I asked the health board to take into consideration the challenges faced by primary care in the town over recent months. I was pleased that the Board responded positively to the case I put forward, and I’m glad this is being set up as an initial effort to bring mass vaccination into the Holyhead community, I look forward to seeing this being developed into a regular vaccination facility. This is good news for the local population.”

“HOLYHEAD PRIMARY CARE DEFENSE PROBLEMS MUST RESPOND!” – CALL AGAIN ON THE HEALTH BOARD FOR ACTION

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS is calling on the Health Board to respond to the serious problems that still exist in the primary care provision in Holyhead according to constituents.
In October 2019, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Anglesey, held a public meeting in Holyhead to discuss the primary care situation, after Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board took over management of Cambria and Longford surgeries following the retirement and departure of several the GPs. It provided an opportunity for the residents of the area to come together to share their concerns, and to call on the Health Board to respond to those concerns as a matter of urgency.
The MS has remained in constant contact with the Health Board on the issue, calling on them to act quickly on releases for the short term, but to share their vision for better, durable, long-term provision also. Nevertheless, and ever since, concerns continue to flow in, and constituents are genuinely concerned about the additional impact of the pandemic on services that are already under considerable pressure.
Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said:
“I know that all practices are facing Covid’s challenges at the moment, but for me, Holyhead is at a disadvantage from the start as problems are already so deep in the primary care service, before the pandemic hit.”
“I just have to say a huge thank you to the staff who work tirelessly to try and serve in the town’s surgeries at such a challenging time. But they need help. I know that staff at Longford Road and Cambria are very dedicated, and doing their best, and I also know that the town’s other surgery, Victoria’s practice, is still doing an excellent job too. “
“We need an urgent update from the Health Board on how they intend to address the issue. At the same time, an update is needed on the potential of developing a new primary health center for the town, with the possibility of offering one site for all the practices to work together. ”
The Member of the Senedd has called on the Health Board to consider creating a town center development, tying up health and social, public service and economic boost by generating ‘footfall’ for local businesses. He has offered the old Woolworths site as one option to consider.
Rhun ap Iorwerth MS added:

“The old Woolworths building is an accessible building on foot from the street, for ambulances, and for cars from the adequate parking spaces at the rear. It is a very large space, and it is an idea that continues to attract strong electorate support. There is a need for innovation for Holyhead and the area – and at the heart of the town could create a community buzz around a modern multidisciplinary health center. ”