Investment in health and social care welcomed

Local AM Elin Jones has welcomed the investment in telemedicine and a package designed to bridge the gap between health and social care, contained in the Welsh Government’s budget, approved by the Assembly on Tuesday.

The measures were included as part of an agreement between the Labour Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru to pass the budget.

Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion and shadow health minister, hailed the agreement as good news for patients, and a programme which reflects Plaid Cymru’s priorities of ensuring that no area is left behind in the Welsh NHS.

She said: “The NHS is in crisis so we have prioritised measures that will address the crisis points directly. The Close to Home Healthcare Package will ease the burden on A&E services, which is desperately needed.

"It will also support convalescence services in the community, which we all know are under pressure following the Hywel Dda Health Board’s recent withdrawal of services from Cardigan.

“The new ‘Close to Home’ healthcare package will be worth £50 million. It’s designed to put meaningful resources behind providing alternatives to hospitalisation and supporting independent living. This will mean extra funding for Ceredigion Social Services working with partners on health and social care in the community. It will also help to stop unnecessary admissions to hospital and allow people to be discharged earlier with convalescence beds and care packages. This is an important step towards better integration between health and social services."

She added:“The budget deal also means a new £9.5 million investment in telemedicine, which is crucial to the future of healthcare in rural areas. Among other things, this will help to buy the latest robotic treatments for prostate cancer, which affects one in eight men. This vital service will now be available closer to people’s homes. Investing in the latest technology is also a good way of attracting doctors to work in the Welsh NHS, and in attracting new research funding.”

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