Thursday, March 15, 2007


After detailed research, I can today revealed that there have been massive increases in the cost of administration and bureaucracy within the NHS in North Wales at a time when local hospitals are being downgraded or shut. I recently made a Freedom of Information request to the three NHS Trusts in North Wales. The documentation received showed that in the period 2003-2006:

- the overall cost of managerial, administrative, facilities and maintenance staff increased by £24 million, representing an increase of 41 per cent in non–medical staff costs over three years
- the cost of administrative staff alone has increased by over £12 million pounds
230 administrators and clerical staff have been employed as compared to 156 new doctors and 268 new nurses
- the cost of the executive board and senior management of all three trusts has risen by £5.2 million pounds, an increase of 53 per cent

This massive growth in non-medical staff costs, especially amongst managerial and administrative staff, is completely unacceptable in the current climate of hospital closures.

It cannot be right that when frontline services are under enormous financial pressure and hospitals are being shut or downgraded that we discover that over £24 million has been spent on increased administration and support costs. The taxpayers of North Wales want to see their money spent on doctors and nurses, not on more penpushers to fill in forms for government bureaucrats.

The Welsh Conservatives is the only party that has consistently asked for the millions spent on bureaucracy within the NHS in North Wales to be redirected to frontline services. Whilst I am fully supportive of having professional management systems within the NHS, this should not be at the expense of vital medical services within local hospitals. Much of the blame must be laid squarely at the door of the Assembly Government, which has made our health system one of the most bureaucratic in Europe.

The consultation process over the future of health services in North Wales was inherently flawed because it did not examine the growing cost of non-medical staff and services. The Welsh Conservatives have made it absolutely clear that we will halt Labour's plans for any downgrading of services at Llandudno Hospital and the closure of other local hospitals in North Wales.

We will also establish a proper dialogue on the future shape of medical services involving clinicians and local people, a dialogue which will have at its core whether money should be used for bureaucracy or frontline services within North Wales

No comments: