Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Conservatives debate

The NHS is not prepared as it should be for a harsh winter, according to the Conservative health spokesperson on 21 November 2012.

Darren Millar AM warned that a disappointing uptake of the flu jab, misuse of Accident and Emergency departments and financial restraints are all contributing factors to the "mini crisis".

He pointed to the fact that the ambulance service's target of responding within eight minutes to 65% of emergency calls hasn't been met since August as he questioned how it can be expected to meet the target in winter when it fails when the weather is mild.

Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black also raised concerned over the failure to meet targets as he called on the government to work with the ambulance service to improve the situation.

Speaking on behalf of Plaid Cymru, Rhodri Glyn Thomas argued that there is a need for the government to work closely with local authorities to develop a strategy to protect communities against the effects of adverse winter weather.

This should include a plan to move people living in isolated locations from their homes if need be so that they can access vital services.

Responding to the debate Communities Minister Carl Sargeant explained that he had chaired a forum with representatives from local authorities and emergency services and was confident that the measures in place are sufficient to cope with a harsh winter.

He did however hope that "it will not be a bad winter so that the plan will not have to be put in place".

Read this in Welsh.

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