In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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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
Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
In this section
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.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.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.