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Minister for Health and Social Services says situation relating to care in Wales is ‘very fragile indeed’

Carmarthenshire’s statutory director of social services Jake Morgan has described the impact of national social care pressures locally as impacting significantly in areas of recruitment of care staff, mental health, children in care and care homes

The report also highlights the need for a long term funding settlement from Welsh Government to transform the way in which social care is delivered.

Cllr Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We are doing everything possible to support those who need our help, whilst also supporting the workforce who are doing such a wonderful job under such great pressure.

We asked the Minister for Health and Social Services if Welsh Government ready and able to step in to do everything possible and address this significant problem for Carmarthenshire County Council and the residents they serve? 

The Minister said she was aware the problem was not just for Carmarthenshire. She said: “It is a problem that is a real struggle for local authorities across the whole Wales. We are meeting on a weekly basis with representatives from local authorities and health boards to see what we can do to ease the pressures this coming winter. She said the situation relating to care was very fragile indeed. We have already given £48 million to local authorities and we have undertaken a massive recruitment campaign and we will be undertaking a further recruitment campaign in future weeks.

“We are also building up measures where we can give more support fro carers and the voluntary sector. We also have a longer term commitment that we are determined we are going to make and that is that to ensure that we pay the living wage for people who do a really tough job. If people are interested in joining the care workforce we would encourage them to do that. We do also recognise that there is a ned for radical reform when it comes to care. We have an ageing population and we are taking a fresh look at this at the moment but obviously we need to do that when we understand what the financial envelope will be from the UK Government.”

You can read the full script of the Minister’s press conference address here:

Prynhawn da

Eluned Morgan dw i, Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol Llywodraeth Cymru, a heddiw yn ymuno â mi mae Dr Gill Richardson, dirprwy prif swyddog ein rhaglen brechlyn covid-19.

Heddiw, rydyn ni’n cyhoeddi diweddariad i’n Strategaeth Frechu. Mae’n nodi ein cynlluniau ac amserlen ar gyfer y rhaglen dros y misoedd nesaf.

Fe awn ni drwy rai o’r cynlluniau hyn gyda chi ond fe edrychwn ni hefyd ar gyfnod yr hydref a’r gaeaf a sut y gallwn ni gyd gadw’n iach

Today, we are publishing an updated version of our Vaccine Strategy, which sets out our plans and timescales for the programme in the coming months.

We will talk you through some of these plans but also look ahead to the autumn and the winter and how we can all stay well.

As the First Minister said on Friday, vaccination continues to be our best defence against coronavirus, especially as we face a second pandemic winter.

I’m going to ask Gill to talk you through what our vaccination programme has already achieved and what’s next.

But first I want to say a few words about the anti-vaxx protests we saw at one of our vaccination centres this weekend.

We all have the right to take part in peaceful protests and to make our views known.

But reports of adults bullying and harassing children and their parents as they enter a vaccination clinic are nothing short of despicable.

I will hand over to Gill now who will talk you through our updated Vaccine Strategy –

Thank you Minister.

It’s been just over 10 months since we started the vaccination programme in Wales and in that short time we have given more than 4.7m doses of the three main Covid vaccines.

People have really embraced vaccination in Wales and we have very high take-up rates – more than 87% of people aged 12 and over have had their first dose and more than 81% have had two doses.

That’s an incredible achievement and is thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this very complex programme – from all those planning the delivery and logistics behind the scenes to everyone working in clinics across Wales.

If anything, the programme has become more complex as it’s progressed.

We are currently running what, in normal times, might be considered to be four distinct programmes.

We’re in the process of giving younger adults their second doses but we’re still seeing some people from older age groups and priority groups coming forward to have their first vaccines.

I’d like to remind people that it’s never too late to come and have your vaccine – our doors are open and there are more details on our website about how to get a vaccine if you’ve changed your mind.

We’re prioritising everyone who is severely immuno-suppressed for an urgent appointment at a time that’s right for them – the exact timing of their appointment is tailored to their treatment and based on advice from their clinician.

We’re vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds and providing the autumn booster programme.

Our updated Vaccine Strategy sets the ambitious target that by November 1 – that’s in the next fortnight:
All 12 to 15-year-olds will have been invited to have a vaccine.
And all eligible care home residents will have been offered a booster.

As the booster vaccine has to be offered at least six months after the second dose, we expect that we will be able to offer the majority of people in priority groups one to nine, an appointment by the end of this year.

Before I hand over to the Minister, I want to recognise the thousands of people who volunteered to test these vaccines and the role they have played in their success.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who took part in the vaccine clinical trials.

The development of these Covid vaccines is an incredible example of international collaborative research and a great many people volunteered to test them before they were approved for use. Their support has been invaluable.

From this week, all eligible trial participants will be offered the option of an additional vaccine course if they are travelling to a country which doesn’t recognise trial vaccines.

And arrangements are in place to ensure all eligible trial participants can receive an autumn booster.

Letters have been sent by the trial investigators to all Welsh participants to set these arrangements out in more detail.


Gill, diolch yn fawr.

Mae cyfraddau coronafeirws wedi parhau i ostwng ar draws Cymru, sy’n bositif iawn. Mae’n rhoi hyder inni fod brig y don delta wedi pasio.

Ond mae achosion dal yn uchel ar draws Cymru.

We have continued to see falls in the rates of coronavirus across Wales, which is really positive and suggests we are past the peak of the delta wave.

But cases remain high across Wales.

It’s important that we do everything we can to control the spread of the virus in our communities and prevent new infections.

We are facing a potentially tough winter ahead of us – although we are seeing cases of coronavirus coming down, it’s clear that the pandemic won’t be over by Christmas.

And we have to take seriously the impact of other seasonal winter viruses, such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus – or RSV – which cause an increase in serious illnesses and put pressure on our health and care services.

Modelling shared with the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation has suggested this winter flu season could be 50% to 100% higher than a typical season and could peak at a different time.

This is the first season where we will have significant amounts of coronavirus circulating as well as flu.

We saw very little flu last winter – you will remember that we had lockdown restrictions in place because we were dealing with high levels of coronavirus caused by the alpha – of Kent – variant.

Data from our health service suggests the RSV season started earlier than usual this year in Wales – in July.

Young children are particularly vulnerable because they will not previously have been exposed to RSV.

Felly, sut allwn ni gadw’n ddiogel ac yn iach dros y gaeaf?

Y newyddion da yw nad ydi’r ffliw nag RSV yn broblemau iechyd newydd – mae gennym gynlluniau dibynadwy ar gyfer y ffliw i ddelio gyda niferoedd mawr o achosion.

Rydyn ni’n barod at y gaeaf.

So how do we stay safe and well this winter?

The good news is that flu and RSV are not new health problems – we have tried and tested flu plans in place to help deal with large outbreaks.

We are prepared for winter.

We will be publishing our winter plan next week, which will set out the local and national measures the NHS, social care, regional partnership boards and other partners will take to manage demands on essential services through over the next four to six months.

Just as vaccination is our best defence against coronavirus, it is also our best defence against flu.

This year’s NHS flu jab campaign is underway – the free vaccine is available to:
Children under 15;
People aged 16 to 50 in an at-risk group
Pregnant women
People over 50
People living in care homes
Close contacts of immune-compromised individuals
Frontline health and social care staff

Having a flu jab is really important for people who are older, pregnant, or those who have a health condition and are more vulnerable to complications as a result of the infections.

It’s really important frontline healthcare workers and those working in care homes or providing care in people’s homes get their flu jab to help reduce spread.

But the simple steps we have all been taking over the past 18 months to control the spread of coronavirus, will also help us beat the battle of the bugs this winter.

If we keep doing the things that keep us safe from coronavirus, such as:
Washing our hands regularly
Keeping our distance
Wearing a face covering in indoor public places
Working from home wherever possible
Meeting people outdoors if possible
And keeping indoor spaces ventilated

We can also help to keep ourselves safe this winter from other nasty illnesses, like flu and RSV.

Diolch yn fawr iawn.

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