A view from Mark Isherwood – Welsh Conservative North Wales Member of the Senedd
Wrexham.com has invited the four North Wales Members of the Senedd to write a monthly column with updates on their work. You can find their updates – along with contributions from the Wrexham and Clwyd South MPs and MSs – here.
In his monthly column for Wrexham.com, Welsh Conservative MS Mark Isherwood writes..
North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority is currently running a public consultation to gather feedback from those who live, work and travel in the region about the future of how they provide their emergency cover services in North Wales.
All three options put forward involve Rhyl and Deeside stations changing to a day staffing system, as part of the service’s plans to improve emergency cover in Corwen, Dolgellau and Porthmadog.
Having met with the Chief Fire Officer at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service earlier this year to discuss their options, at the end of last month I joined my colleague Vale of Clwyd MS Gareth Davies for a meeting with a firefighter representative to discuss their concerns that although the point of this review was to improve fire cover in North Wales, all three options in the public consultation will, in their words, ‘reduce fire cover’ and have a ‘detrimental impact on the emergency fire response across North Wales’.
We also learned that the Fire Brigades Union have proposed two further options, which are being reviewed by the Fire Authority.
At the time of writing this over 1,100 people had taken part in the public consultation, the deadline for which has now been extended. Those who have yet to express their views now have until midnight on September 30 to have a say.
Feedback regarding these proposed changes is important and I urge everyone to ensure they take advantage of this extended opportunity to make their views known before the Fire Authority comes to any final decisions about future provision.
For further information on the three options and how to take part in the consultation visit Emergency Cover Review – Have your say – About Us – North Wales Fire And Rescue Service (gov.wales)
As Chair of the Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Hospice and Palliative Care in the Welsh Parliament, I recently attended a meeting with representatives from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Specialist Palliative Care and from Mold-based ‘Same but Different’ CIC, to discuss access to coordinated end of life care in North Wales and lessons learned from the CPG’s Inquiry Report: ‘Experiences of palliative and end of life care in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic’.
Our Report includes evidence from North Wales residents who cared for their mother, who died at home, including ‘We had to resort to calling paramedics after failing to get a response from District Nurses, Palliative Care, or Out of Hours’; and from Marie Curie, showing that three out of four home deaths during the pandemic did not get the care they needed.
It also found that the pandemic saw a massive increase in demand for palliative and end of life care in the community, with deaths at home increasing by over 30% and continuing at this level today, and that demand for palliative care in the community is forecast to nearly double by 2040.
As I have repeatedly stated over the years, every person should have access to expert end of life care, no matter where they die, and we need to ensure this is the case no matter what part of Wales they live in.
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