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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 January, 2005, 09:19 GMT
'Lack of confidence' in Welsh NHS
Dr Brian Gibbons,  Welsh health minister
Dr Gibbons said the survey was "just a snapshot"
Senior staff working in the National Health Service in Wales lack confidence in the system, new research says.

A survey by the Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care said many managers had little faith in Welsh Assembly Government policies on waiting times.

But the report warned that comparisons with England could be misleading.

Health Minister Brian Gibbons said the survey of 133 people was "just a snapshot".

It provided useful information to the debate on the health service, but no firm conclusions could be drawn from it, he added.

The conclusions of the survey were based on the views of 133 people - more than 100 of them leaders of the Welsh NHS responsible for the future of health and social care.

Two-thirds of the workforce stated that they are happy working for health and social care services in Wales
Health Secretary Dr Brian Gibbons

A total of 250 people were asked to take part in the research, and 53% responded.

Those who replied were allowed to remain anonymous, with the aim of encouraging a full and frank public debate on the health service.

For instance, two-thirds of those who took part in the survey said they would prefer to trust the NHS in England or Scotland with the care of a loved one.

But 64% would still choose to work in the Welsh NHS. Reasons were not given but it could be because of familiarity with the service or the area, or because the English health service has a reputation for being over-driven with targets and ruthlessly performance managed.

Findings

Respondents did feel comparisons could be misleading and that the health service was more than just waiting times.

It showed 53% would like to see more private sector involvement.

Marcus Longley, director of the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care, said of the report had both good and bad findings.

"Our intention was to look at the health service in the round, not just look at things like waiting lists which to some extent are symptoms anyway.

"There are some areas where there is a lot of confidence in the future, for example, people are relatively confident that major changes in the way services are delivered will happen."

Areas of concern were things like waiting times, staff recruitment and retention and managing finance, he told BBC Wales.

"I don't think anyone is suggesting that the quality of care you receive in Wales is any different from that you receive in England," he added.

'Anxieties'

Health Minister Dr Brian Gibbons said the research was useful but stressed that surveys of this kind were "just a snapshot in time".

Dr Gibbons added : "It is not an in-depth analysis so we can not draw firm conclusions from it.

"It does highlight the positive steps that have been made in strengthening partnerships and this is something I want to see continued.

Dr Gibbons said he was aware of the "anxieties" surrounding health waiting times in Wales, but added the problem was being addressed.

He was concerned at the views expressed by some NHS managers about the services they were providing, and said he would be discussing their comments with the chairs of health organisations.


SEE ALSO:
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30 Jan 04 |  Wales


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