Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Special Relationship.

How I would like to have been an MP last Thursday, when my very good friend Daniel Kawczyski made his speech in the House of Commons about the relationship between Montgomeryshire and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. Assuming that the BBC report is accurate, I would have liked to have spoken about the impact that treating patients from Powys has on the finances of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

There is some history here. A few years ago, the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospitals Trust was in deep financial trouble. Debts were in the region of £38 million. A new management team was installed, which has turned things around - using radical and effective surgery. Throughout this period of treatment, I kept in close touch with new Chief Executive, Mr Tom Taylor, a plain speaking man of financial background - because the RHS is so important to us in Montgomeryshire. Now, sometime in 2007/8 Mr Taylor gave evidence to a Committee of the House of Commons and informed MPs that if payment for the treatment of Welsh Patients had been at the same level as the treatment of English patients, his Trust would have been £2 million to the good. This is absolutely not the same thing as the RHS losing £2 million pounds as a result of treating Powys patients. In fact, during all discussions that I have had with the Chief Executive, he has been very keen to emphasise just how important the flow of patients from Powys is to the Hospital. I would be very interested in knowing what Mr Taylor thinks of what was said in the House of Commons last Thursday - so interested that I will try to arrange an appointment to see him as soon as possible. The relationship between Montgomeryshire and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital is a very special one, and over recent years I have done all I can to ensure it continues to be special. I'm not prepared to seeit trampled on. After I meet Mr Taylor, I will post a blog, outlining the real contribution that the two sides of this partnership bring to each other.


Anonymous said...

Your points are made well Glyn. Many of us remember that great colonial Welshman the late Sir John Harvey Jones and his TV progs on the Shropshire Health Service.

I get rather tired of my fellow neighbours also from the Midlands commenting on the large number of Welsh accents in a+e at Shewsbury. I for one am happy that my wife gets a great service at Gobowen which i often forget is in England.

Good service is through partnership and i feel sure that Powys and Salop can work well over Offas Dyke.

The same i am sure is true between Swansea and Cardiff?

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - More on this in due course - when I have the facts.

Anonymous said...

Glyn, I notice you didn’t mention the strong words of your opponent Lembit which was picked up on by the BBC. For once the two of you seem to agree on something.

Alison said...

Parliamentary debate can be found here:

Has video too. Scroll up / down for rest of debate.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - Actually, Lembit and I quite often agree about issues. But I'm not going to criticise what Daniel said without checking my facts. I've already said that I intend to do that - and if that results inmy outlining disagreement with a political colleague, so be it.

Alison - Thanks. Time is my problem though - and I cannot take this further without a full briefing by Tom Taylor.

Anonymous said...

Of course if we hadn't got the nonsense of devolution, the issue wouldn't arise.

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - Oh so true. But we do have devolution, and we do need to handle these things in a way that impacts on people as little as possible. To be honest, I'm still seething about this.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the Royal Horticultural Society would be very grateful to receive 2 million pounds from Powys! Whereas the RSH have been starved of funding from Powys for many years - I always believed that the money was not forthcoming from the Welsh Assembly, who are obsessed with Wales receiving treament from Welsh hospitals, forgetting that North Powys has no choice but to go over the border into England for treatment. Someone should inform WAG that Wales does not end at the border of Glamorganshire!

'DC' correspondent said...

When I read "A Special Relationship" I wondered if you meant 'the' special relationship (re: USA-UK 'special relationship') ... let me just mention how Gordon Brown's visit went here: it was a "damp squib" - in direct contrast to Tony Blair's visits to DC, which must irk Brown somewhat.

Unixman said...

Bob and Aggies Boneyard in Gobowen have exactly the same problem over finance from Wales.

This is from a couple of years back but I think the point is still valid:


(and you are mentioned!!)