§ Mr. Paul Murphy
It was envisaged early on that this winter would be particularly difficult, with the potential additional problems from the Millennium date change and the possible impact of Millennium celebrations on hospitals.360W
This year the NHS in Wales received its largest ever increase in discretionary allocations (+10.5 per cent.). This additional money was announced at the beginning of the current financial year, allowing all parts of the NHS to draw up action plans and make contingency arrangements early in the year, building on experiences following the allocation of £22 million over the previous two years.
Plans drawn up by the NHS included the provision of increased numbers of staff and beds in hospitals, extra local rapid-response home care services and more beds in the nursing home sector. In addition, in August last year the Chief Medical Officer for Wales issued guidance on the immunisation of vulnerable people.
Since 1 July 1999, responsibility for the NHS in Wales has been for the National Assembly for Wales.