Page last updated at 07:10 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Welsh NHS lacks accountability claim Conservatives

Surgeons (posed by models)
Mr Davies wants medical staff to be given a greater say over the way the NHS is run.

An "obsession with centralised control" is destroying transparency and accountability in the NHS in Wales, claim the Conservatives.

Health spokesman Andrew RT Davies wants medical staff to be given a greater say over the way the service is run.

Mr Davies, who is also worried at plans to cut the number of community health councils, was speaking ahead of an opposition assembly debate on the NHS.

The assembly government accused him of "misunderstanding or mischief-making".

Mr Davies said: "The assembly government's obsession with centralised control is undermining transparency and accountability in NHS Wales.

"The minister's proposal to cut the number and membership of community health councils (CHCs) is anything but developing their role and will seriously inhibit the ability of CHCs to adequately represent patients.

Andrew RT Davies AM

It is... appalling that the minister has refused to investigate reports that £1bn of the health budget is not spent properly

Andrew RT Davies AM, Conservative health spokesman

He claimed it was "equally appalling" that the minister "has refused to investigate" reports by finance directors that £1bn of the health budget is not spent properly every year.

Mr Davies said such money could make a huge difference to the quality of patient care in Wales and the assembly government must investigate the issue, rather than "cover up" mistakes.

He said: "I also have concerns that the assembly government does not actively collect health data on issues such as funding for cancer, stroke and heart disease."

He said it is essential that the government has the ability to provide analysis of available data so performance can be monitored and improved.

A Welsh assembly government spokesman said: "It appears that there is either a misunderstanding or some mischief-making here on how the NHS in Wales works and the health minister Edwina Hart, will address these inaccuracies in the debate.

"Mrs Hart is surprised that there can be allegations there is a lack of accountability in the NHS since, as a result of the reorganisation, the NHS is now more open, transparent and accountable than ever."

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