Who pulls the strings?

The evidence of the many protest groups and letters in local and semi national papers show the frustration, intense concern by the alert residents in Wales to the NHS changes being implemented now by the newly setup Health boards structure. Whilst creating the smokescreen of concern , Talking Health, DVD mail shots etc it is crystal clear that changes adverse to many are being implemented whilst claiming that no decisions are being taken until the “Consultation” is complete…..when ever?

Meanwhile substantial increases in salaries ,pension contributions etc have been awarded to many senior execs appointed to implement the long established aim to change NHS services to fit the financial imperatives imposed by the Welsh Assembly and create a world class health service. .long promised !.

Here in SW Wales protests against the diminution of services at Withybush Hospital are admirably led by SWAT (Save Withbush Action Team) , the recent demo outside the hospital was well supported and so should future meetings.

But where is the real power? /Who pulls the strings?

Where does the buck stop? Certainly not at grass roots where most of us find the NHS staff doing their best ..By those higher up the line we seem to be given the mushroom treatment …fancy words whilst enjoying the comfort of protected employment and for the few with up to 75% increases in salary and pensions. But the buck surely goes further…who directs what funds are allocated to the NHS and all other public services ,education, local government, cultural development , voluntary organisations etc etc . .Surely these decisions come from the members of the Welsh Assembly and WAG .At this level policies are established , organisations created , leadership appointments made, standards /guidelines set up .

It does not seem likely that the 100’s of senior Execs with salaries over £100.000 in the NHS and other parts of the public sector will vote for change .No doubt there will be “necessary” changes lower down for many.

So where does the buck stop? It must be with our elected representatives at Cardff.. Our Assembly Members make the decisions how /where our taxes are spent .WAG decides the priorities in Wales between providing public services/Economic Development/Wealth creation in cooperation and funding from Westminster.

For the devolved powers WAG decides policies and organisations, appoints placemen and women, sets up structures to monitor/audit what goes on etc etc ,.Delegation to lower down authorities is no cop out for allowing wasteful spending of our taxes At all levels we have the right to expect Responsible Leadership and good judgement in the execution of services to the public.

If readers think they are getting this say so if not why not express your views to your appointed representative at Westminster, Cardiff and locally. Have a go!!

Ron Weedon

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