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 - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Priorities for NHS announced
The new NHS Delivery Framework has been published by NHS Wales Chief Executive David Sissling.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Minister launches Clinical Research Treatment Unit
- Priorities for NHS announced
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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.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
24 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 »
Written Statement - Winter Pressures
The NHS in Wales has been under significant pressure over this winter period. It is a credit to all health service staff in Wales that despite these pressures, they have been able to continue to deliver vital services. I would like to thank staff for their hard work and dedication, over what has been a very difficult period for them.
Every winter the NHS expects to see an increase in demand on its services and plans accordingly in an effort to meet that demand. However, this year particularly severe periods of extremely cold weather and snow have put more pressure on services. This is on top of the usual health problems associated with winter which staff have had to deal with.
Today, ambulance performance statistics for December have been published
These figures need to be seen in the context of the pressure that services were under in December. As a result of their efforts, planning, and coordination, services were maintained in very difficult circumstances.
The ambulance service receives more than 25,000 emergency calls every month. December saw a significant increase in those emergency and life-threatening calls.
There were more than 35,600 emergency calls in December 2010 – up 18 per cent on December 2009 and up 23 per cent compared with November 2010.
Naturally ambulance response times will have been affected as crews needed to reduce speeds on the snow and icy roads - with many of the minor and side roads impassable for more than a week - and as a result the 8 minute response time standard was difficult to achieve. So severe were the road conditions that in some instances the Fire Service were called out to assist. Let us be clear, these were difficult conditions for all involved.
The figures on accident and emergency also demonstrate just how much pressure health services have been under.
To put this in context, 70,000 people attended emergency departments or minor injuries units across Wales in December 2009. In December 2010, this rose significantly to over 74,400 attendances.
Nearly 84 per cent of patients were seen, treated, transferred or discharged within four hours. While we accept that some patients will have waited longer – and we are working to improve performance – staff would have treated patients in order of clinical priority.
In addition to the slips, trips and falls associated with cold weather, emergency departments have also seen an increase in admissions for heart attacks, stroke and pneumonias. Coupled with that, a number of people attended emergency departments with concerns over seasonal flu. All hospitals have reported an increase in patients with severe respiratory symptoms which required a longer than average stay in hospital as a result, including an increase in those who required critical care.
Every winter we also see an increase in norovirus – which is also known as the winter vomiting disease – circulating in the community. A number of wards had to be closed across Wales to limit the spread of infection. This of course also had an impact on services and added to the severe pressure the NHS has been under.
The NHS has plans in place for managing winter pressures and we have been working with Health Boards and the Ambulance Trust to monitor demand and bed capacity, in order to coordinate and manage services through daily senior management conference calls.
We have also launched a campaign, Choose Well, to help people understand where to go if they are unwell.