England’s controversial Cancer Drugs Fund underwent significant reform in 2016. Stakeholders called for more clarity about what, if any, impact the changes would have in Wales, particularly given NICE’s central role in the new-look Fund and the earlier access to evidence-based treatments it is expected to provide. The Welsh Government has stated that patients in Wales will not be treated any less favourably.
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill was introduced on 12 December 2016 by the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language, Alun Davies.
The Welsh Government is unequivocal about the need for change. It describes the Bill as a ‘complete overhaul’ of a system ‘no longer fit for purpose’.
The UK Government recently announced that NHS hospitals in England will be required to charge patients from overseas upfront for non-urgent, planned care unless they are eligible for free treatment.
On 15 November 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams, announced her intention to make changes to the School Organisation Code. The primary objective of the changes will be to introduce ‘a presumption against the closure of rural schools’, something which is already in place in Scotland and England.
On 15 March the Assembly will debate the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’s report on the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICfW). The Committee found much to agree with when scrutinising the Welsh Government’s proposals, but made 10 recommendations to help ensure that Wales’s current and future infrastructure needs are met.