Senedd Bites #53: Health board “failed to do background checks”

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

Health board “failed to do background checks”

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales published an independent review which found that Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABMU) health board failed to undertake criminal background checks on hundreds of staff working in its learning disabilities directorate.

One high profile example was Kris Wade, who murdered a neighbour in Cardiff in 2016 but was suspended from his job as a mental health nurse at ABMU while allegations of sexual assault were investigated.

The Welsh Government expected the health board “to take full account” of its actions and called for all health boards in Wales to pay close attention to the review’s recommendations.

Health hospital to be replaced?

Cardiff and Vale Health Board are understood to be exploring options to replace the main building at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff by 2030. It’s unclear yet whether any replacement would remain at the current site in Heath or be located elsewhere.

The Chief of the health board’s Community Health Council is reported to have said, “The UHW is looking very tired as a building. The health board has said there is a backlog of maintenance. It opened in the 1970s and it’s a well-used building. Whilst they are dealing with the essential maintenance there’s a backlog of maintenance the health board has openly said they have. “

Any replacement hospital is likely to require a significant investment from the Welsh Government.

Public health experts issue warning as flu vaccinations drop

Figures from Public Health Wales showed that the proportion of people susceptible to flu – including the over-65s and young children – receiving a vaccine has fallen to in some cases less than 50%.

It’s believed that myths about vaccination – such as that it causes a disease – may have caused drops in vaccination levels. Public Health Wales said, “If your child gets a cold shortly after having had the flu vaccine, it is usually nothing more than an unfortunate coincidence and has not been caused by the vaccine itself….Every year children in Wales need treatment in intensive care units because of flu.”

Children “should be taught their rights”

The day after the Welsh Government unveiled its white paper on curriculum reform, the Children’s Commissioner, Dr Sally Holland, called for a legal obligation to be placed on schools to teach children human rights.

It comes after authorities intervened in several Swansea families after a school taught human rights to pupils, leading to some to say they didn’t feel safe at home. The Commissioner said, “This isn’t just another topic to be ticked off for children to learn… it’s much more about their fundamental experience throughout their time in school.”

90 business leaders demand a decision on Newport bypass

90 business leaders and figures have co-signed a letter demanding the Welsh Government press ahead with plans for a bypass of Newport.

The CBI said they were even willing to accept a toll road in order to the project to go ahead: “While no-one’s first choice is a toll road, especially after we’ve only just successfully removed the tolls on the Severn Bridges, if the choice really comes down to ‘no road or a toll road’ then all options should be considered”.

AMs have been promised a binding vote in the Senedd, but the Welsh Government and civil service were still undertaking “due diligence” work to evaluate the inspector’s report.

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