I know how important good quality health care is to each and everyone of us – whether for ourselves or for our loved ones and the past year has brought home more than ever the importance of our health and social care services.
Since being elected to the Welsh Parliament, and during my time working for Unite the union, I have always done my best to support those who work in the health and social care sector, as well as those who receive their care.
I recently met with the new Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr to discuss issues around GPs and primary care, and had a positive meeting, with assurances that steps are being taken to improve patient experience and support for staff. Earlier in the week the 111 service also went live in North Wales, meaning that residents in North Wales can call to access out of hours appointments or receive health advice over the phone.
As always I am keen to hear of constituents’ experiences, so if you would like to talk to me about the new 111 service or another health care issue, please email me at Hannah.Blythyn@senedd.wales or call 01352762102.
Whilst in the Senedd this week I was pleased to welcome the Welsh Government’s announcement that all proposals to build new roads will be paused and reviewed by an Expert Panel. This includes the proposed Red Route, which I have long believed is not the right solution for the transport challenges faced here in Flintshire, and I look forward to the outcome of this review.
From the early days of the so-called Red Route proposals, I have done all I can to raise concerns – whether in writing, on the floor of the Senedd or by calling for further and wider consultation. In the coming weeks and months I will of course continue to listen to the views and experiences of constituents about how we can collectively rise to these challenges. This must be in a way that works for both our communities and our environment and I plan to give constituents the opportunity to take part in a transport survey.
Leader readers will also have seen that the First Minister announced on Friday that there would be a halt to any further easing of restrictions for the next four weeks, due to increasing levels of the delta variant in Wales. Though we continue to see increasing numbers of people vaccinated, with over 50% of Flintshire residents now having received both their first and second jabs, it is clear that the new variant is circulating within our communities.
In conversations with colleagues in the Welsh Parliament and the Welsh Government, I am continuing to stress the importance of ensuring that we continue to deliver our world-leading vaccination programme. Vaccines continue to be our best chance in fighting this virus and reducing the impact it has on our society. That is why I would encourage anyone who has been offered an appointment to attend, and to remind anyone who may have changed their mind and decided they do want a vaccination, that they can still book an appointment.
Having spoken to a number of constituents who are making plans for their big day, I am sure they will welcome the changes which have been made to provide flexibility to wedding arrangements. The number of guests at indoor weddings in regulated settings such as hotels, will now the size of the venue and the risk assessments in place.
If there any queries which constituents, businesses or organisations have about the current restrictions in place, then please get in touch and I will do my best to provide the advice you need.