Critical care capacity: statement by the Health and Social Services Secretary for Wales

On 12th July, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services issued a statement regarding critical care capacity in Wales. In this, Mr Gething rightly praised the standards of care delivered within Welsh critical care despite the strain and pressures of the environment in which we work. The commitment of new recurrent funding of £15 million per year to support the development of critical care services is extremely welcome.

The planned programme of work is broad, and will consider provision of outreach, long-term ventilation, post-anaesthesia care unit (PACU) and transfer as well as core requirements for critical care bed capacity and workforce. However, it is essential that this programme does not lose sight of the fact that Wales has significantly lower critical care bed capacity than elsewhere in the UK and that efficiencies will not suffice in meeting escalating demands for critical care. Since the Critical Care Networks identified a need for an additional 73 critical care beds in 2014, there has been an increase of only 8 beds across Wales – some of which have been designated PACU level 1 beds.

The Welsh Intensive Care Society is very pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the Task and Finish Group overseeing this programme of work and are committed to representing the views of WICS members. Comments from WICS members can be directed to: WICSchair@gmail.com.

Richard Pugh
Chair of WICS

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