Our vision for a healthy Wales

What is Plaid's vision for our NHS?

Plaid believes that health and well-being services should be delivered according to local need in order to best care for our communities, to ensure that our health and social services are sustainable and can realise their potential to improve the lives of everyone in Wales. A Plaid Government will deliver a new Community Health Service with more nurses in schools, check-ups at work and 'Centres of Wellbeing' the length and breadth of Wales. As part of our Community Health Service, we will ensure that every person in Wales is entitled to a personal health plan and an annual check up which will include exercise, diet and specialist care.

We recognise that we also need to look closely at the causes of ill-health; these include not only the long standing causes of poverty and unhealthy working and housing conditions, but increasingly also the misuse of alcohol and drugs, lack of opportunities for exercise and exploitative marketing to young children.

We will require all dentists who receive training through the NHS to provide a minimum proportion of their time under NHS terms and we will ensure that patients have greater access to GP provision so that they can receive quality services in their communities outside normal working hours.

We will support the development of a new National Vision for Cancer Services in Wales focusing on support for the individual and their family throughout the cancer journey.

We also call for powers to be devolved which would allow the Welsh government to legislate on other health-related matters such as sun beds, cigarette vending machines and the regulation of alcohol pricing. We also call for responsibility for the provision of ambulance services to be passed to the Local Health Boards.

Many of us will one day need social care, whether residential or non-residential. In the longer term, Plaid Cymru remains committed to free care provision for older and disabled people and we call for the transfer to the National Assembly of the necessary powers. We oppose means-tested allowances and we will campaign to abolish the distinction between nursing and personal care.

Yet in the shorter term, we are taking action. We have sought extra powers for the Welsh government and in March 2010, we passed a law outlining a range of changes to achieve much greater consistency in charging for domiciliary care services across Wales. In government, we are introducing a maximum weekly charge of £50 for all of the services a person receives irrespective of where they live in Wales.

We will compel close co-operation between the NHS and Local Authority social services, using regulation and funding streams. We will maintain our commitment to Carers' Rights and we will rigorously monitor the implementation of the Carers Strategies Measure.

We will introduce a set of National Terms and Conditions for Social Workers and Care Staff. We will develop consultant social worker grades to enable social workers to progress in their careers without having to leave frontline practice.

Plaid Cymru is opposed to the current punitive proposals to reform the welfare and benefits system. While we recognise that budget cuts will need to be made, we believe that the current Westminster government is rushing through dangerous reforms which will only serve to hurt the most vulnerable in our society.

We also oppose the privatisation of back-to-work services and the compulsory drug testing of claimants. Unemployed people must be supported into work, consistent with their abilities, capacity and their individual circumstances.