In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
29 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Oral - Update on Swine Influenza
I want to update Members on the swine flu outbreak and how preparations in Wales are proceeding. The World Health Organization’s pandemic flu alert level remains at phase 5, which reflects human-to-human transmission and that a pandemic may be imminent. It remains the case that the outbreak seems to have caused a less severe illness outside Mexico.
The latest indications are that more than 1,500 cases of influenza A have been reported in 21 countries worldwide. There were 28 confirmed cases in the UK as of 5 p.m. yesterday, but we expect that figure to rise later today. There are still no confirmed cases in Wales. The situation is always changing. In Wales, 50 cases have been ruled out, leaving 18 still under investigation. All these patients are connected to travel in Mexico and the USA and all are displaying, or have displayed, mild symptoms.
It is too early to say whether this is a flu-like illness similar to seasonal winter flu. More needs to be known about how it is spread, how severe the illness is, or can be, and the risks to different age groups. All efforts are being made by the scientific advisory group on emergencies and the international community of experts to get enough good information on UK and world cases. At present in the United Kingdom, we are seeing cases among people who have either visited Mexico or the USA or who are contacts of people who have done that. We have not reached the stage of sustained person-to-person transmission within the community. That point will need to be agreed on in the UK, as it will affect our policy towards trying to contain the infection and reducing the rate of spread.
We are looking to our surveillance systems to provide the information as to the likely severity of infection and for age-related information. During previous pandemics, the rate of infection abated over the summer, with an increase in cases over the winter. It is important, therefore, to be vigilant and to prepare for a potential further wave of swine flu virus in the autumn and winter, which may be more widespread. We must remember that more deaths normally happen in the winter than in the summer, and that that can be partly attributed to seasonal flu. We refer to greater than expected numbers of deaths as being ‘excess’. During the last major seasonal flu epidemic in 1999-2000, there were 21,000 excess deaths in England and Wales.
We are ensuring that the public have timely and appropriate access to information and advice. A bilingual information leaflet giving information about swine flu and how to prevent its spread was placed, at the first opportunity last week, on the Welsh Assembly Government, NHS Wales and NHS Direct Wales websites, and a national advertising campaign, which began last week, has been signposting the public to where they can access this leaflet online. The leaflet will also be dropped through people’s doors across the UK. Distribution began yesterday in Scotland, as that was the first area of the UK to be affected by confirmed cases of swine flu. A further wave of advertising, including bilingual versions, will also appear in the Welsh media later this week. Bilingual posters and leaflets have been made available at Welsh ports since last week, giving advice to returning travellers. In addition to information being available from NHS Direct Wales, a national swine flu information line is now operational, providing advice to the public on what to do if they display flu-like symptoms.
The Welsh Assembly Government is continuing to liaise with the National Public Health Service for Wales, the Health Protection Agency, the other UK countries and international colleagues to monitor the situation closely. We have activated the pandemic flu plans, and I am continuing to attend Cabinet Office Briefing Room meetings to ensure that Wales is best equipped to respond effectively.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s health emergency preparedness unit has issued guidance to local health boards on antiviral distribution and is also co-ordinating work on identifying appropriate collection points and the necessary arrangements to support this process. We are also currently reviewing within the NHS the robustness of its local plans to ensure that it is fully prepared to deal with the situation. Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu have been sent to hospital pharmacies and GP out-of-hours services from our stockpile. We are also working with the other UK countries to establish a stockpile of antibiotics. We also have in place a central stockpile of face-masks and respirators that can be deployed should the health service require them. The four countries have agreed to procure additional masks and respirators to ensure that our front-line health and social care staff are protected during a pandemic. Many people will wish to know whether they should wear face-masks. Although we are aware that face-masks are being given out to the public in Mexico, the available scientific evidence does not support the general wearing of face-masks by those who are not ill while going about their normal activities.
Although there is no specific vaccine against swine flu currently available, scientific advice is being taken to enable us to make an appropriate decision about developing a specific vaccine for the UK, which would be delivered in the autumn, ahead of next winter.
I assure Members that we have done and are continuing to do all that we can to prepare against a pandemic situation. The health service is well prepared, and I take this opportunity to thank NHS staff for their commitment. I will, of course, report regularly to the Assembly on these matters, particularly if there are significant changes to the current situation.