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Welsh government tackles NHS changes

A report from the BBC says the Welsh government is planning a publicity blitz to help people understand why they support changes to the NHS.

They favour a move to centralised health services, citing research commissioned by healthboards that says the current system "provides variable quality" and is too expensive to run.

Health boards will announce their proposals to the public in May and formal consultation will take place over the summer. The finalised plans should be approved and implemented from August onwards.

The Welsh cabinet says it wants a campaign that uses "unambiguous and direct" language to warn people about the dangers of continuing with the current programme of services.
A Cabinet paper says changes will be "difficult and controversial", adding: "The intention now is to move increasingly onto the front foot in our communications."

The newproposals, which will be outlined "in terms of their benefit and gain", will rely more heavily on guidance from Doctors, and will aim to make hospitals into "centres of excellence".

The Welsh government is also expected to say that reducing admissions to, and reliance on, beds at district general hospitals would be a consequence of the proposed changes.

The BBC goes on to say that the Welsh government already has witnessed opposition to itsplans, with protesters demonstrating on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff Bay and a poll for the NHS Confederation showing that 60% of people are opposed to centralising hospital services.