LOCAL Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has accused the Welsh Government of putting people’s eyesight at risk after recent statistics revealed a 233% hike in eye care treatment delays.
Figures for Wales showed that 5,701 people had been waiting more than 36 weeks for ophthalmology treatment at the end of July this year, compared to 2,343 twelve months ago and 1,709 in July 2013. Statistics for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board revealed that a staggering 1,157 people had waited over 36 weeks to start treatment.
Calling on the Welsh Government to take action to address the problem, Mr Ramsay said:
“These figures are shameful and extremely worrying for people with eye problems who are facing long delays in waiting for treatment. The Royal National Institute for the Blind has recently raised concerns over the serious capacity problems within eye clinics and warned that patients could be losing their sight while waiting for appointments and treatment.
“This cannot go on spiralling out of control – the Welsh Government must take heed of these warnings from the RNIB and act now to put an end to these long delays.”
Monmouth Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has again spoken out about the poor ambulance response times in Monmouthshire as Welsh Government ministers introduce a new clinical response model to the service.
Latest figures released by the Welsh Government show 61.4 % of emergency responses to immediate life-threatening calls arrived at the scene within eight minutes across Wales. The target is 65% – the lowest in the UK. Monmouthshire only achieves the target in 52.1% of cases, and is one of the worst areas in Wales.
Speaking today Nick said:
“The Welsh Government’s rush to change the ambulance targets over the summer has an air of desperation about it.
“The Category A eight minute response target has now been missed for 20 consecutive months and in life-threatening situations the time spent waiting for an ambulance can make the difference between life and death.
“It now looks as though the Welsh Government is trying to move the goalposts to make the figures look better.
“I hope the 12 month pilot of the new clinical response model will deliver the results we all need in Monmouthshire but I fear it’s going to take more than simply changing the targets.”
MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has accused the Welsh Government of selling off land, including the Wonastow Road Fields, at well below the price they could have received for it and certainly below normal market value.
A report into the largest sale of publicly owned land in Wales in recent years found it should have generated at least £15million more to the taxpayer. Sites were sold as one portfolio by the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (RIFW) for £21million three years ago, but the District Valuer, in a report by the public spending watchdog the Wales Audit Office, valued them at £36 million if they had been sold separately. Auditors also said there were flaws in the sale process and weaknesses in the advice to the RIFW board, in particular from the property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton.
Asking an urgent question in the Assembly on Wednesday Mr Ramsay said:
“The public are getting the impression that this Welsh Government doesn’t do finance.
“At the end of the day this wasn’t the Welsh Government’s land to undersell – it was public land and the public trusted the politicians to look after their interests, something which clearly did not happen.
I’m particularly concerned to see the former Welsh Development Agency land at Wonastow in Monmouth on this list.That land was converted from industrial to housing use in order to satisfy the Welsh Government’s unreasonable demands on Monmouthshire Council to build ever more houses.
“It now transpires the Welsh Government sold off land at a fraction of its value and then made it available for development to satisfy its own housing demands. It’s all too cosy and suggests something rotten at the heart of the way the Welsh Government works.
“The public has the right to ask what on earth is going on and what the Welsh Government is doing to ensure this sort of debacle doesn’t happen in the future.”