Update
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Public Affairs Update

Information from our Public Affairs team.

31 October 2023

Wales Public Affairs Update – October 2023

The Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has pledged to direct £425 million of additional funding to support the Welsh NHS this year. The Finance Minister explained how the government’s priority is to protect core services, jobs, and people hardest hit by the current cost of living crisis. Welsh Government protects health, transport and public services | GOV.WALES

The Health Minister announced the publication of the quality statement for Musculoskeletal Health, to better prevent and support those with the condition, considering the impact that this has on psychological wellbeing (among other aspects). Written Statement: Quality Statement for Musculoskeletal Health (12 October 2023) | GOV.WALES

On 10 October, the Health Minister urged people to have their say in the future of health and social care services in Wales by taking part in the public conversation launched by the Bevan Commission. Anyone can take part in the conversation here: https://bevancommission.org/programmes/a-conversation-with-the-public/ or take part in the in-person events: https://bevancommission.org/programmes/a-conversation-with-the-public/

Senedd

The Welsh Conservative MS for Brecon and Radnorshire, and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, James Evans MS, will present a Mental Health (Wales) Bill to the Senedd after winning the annual ballot. The purpose of the bill is “to provide for the replacement of outdated mental health legislation; improve the delivery of mental health plans for Welsh Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and adult services; improve the accountability of Welsh public sector organisations; guarantee parity between the treatment of physical and mental health; and help to reduce the stigma of mental health in Wales”.

The Health and Social Care Committee has published all consultation responses (including ours) to their inquiry into Chronic Conditions. This inquiry will be held in two stages. The next stage is for the Committee to consider which areas they will focus on based on the responses that they have received. Consultation display (senedd.wales)

The Children, Young People and Education Committee has invited us to provide oral evidence to their inquiry into disabled and neurodivergent children’s access to education on Thursday, 16 November. We will give evidence alongside the Royal College and Speech and Language Therapy and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. Click here for all responses (including ours): Consultation display (senedd.wales)

Stakeholder news

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales has published her annual report for 2022-23. The report highlights the key policy areas that she has prioritised, including: child poverty, mental health and wellbeing; and support for disabled learners and children with additional needs (among many other things.) CCFW-Annual-Report-and-Accounts-22-23.pdf (childcomwales.org.uk)

Consultations

Welsh Affairs Committee inquiry into Prisons in Wales / new deadline 8 November

The UK-Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee announced a follow-up to their 2019 inquiry into Prisons in Wales (2019 Full Report). The inquiry is looking at the state of the prison estate, staffing issues, management of offenders, and cooperation between UK and Welsh Governments around devolved areas (housing, education etc.)

HEIW Strategic Perinatal Workforce Plan / deadline end November

HEIW are developing the Strategic Perinatal Workforce Plan, to recruit, retain, train and transform the current and future perinatal workforce in NHS Wales, for implementation by Spring 2024. The BPS will respond to the consultation. However, if you’d like to take part, please go to the page: Strategic perinatal workforce plan - HEIW (nhs.wales)

Welsh Government: White Paper on ending homelessness in Wales / deadline 16 January

The Welsh Government are consulting on: reform of existing core homelessness legislation; the role of the Welsh public service in preventing homelessness; targeted proposals to prevent homelessness for those disproportionately affected; and access to housing. For more information, click here: White Paper on ending homelessness in Wales | GOV.WALES

For all of the above consultations, Members’ views are welcomed as they will help inform our response. Please email [email protected] with your comments.

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