Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru
The National Assembly for Wales




Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol
The Health and Social Care Committee



Dydd Iau, 7 Gorffennaf 2011
Thursday, 7 July 2011




3          Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau a Dirprwyon
Introduction, Apologies and Substitutions


4          Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol—Ffyrdd o Weithio

Health and Social Care Committee—Ways of Working          


8          Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol—Trafod Materion o fewn Portffolio y Pwyllgor ac Ystyried ei Flaenraglen Waith  

Health and Social Care Committee—Discussion of Issues within the Committee’s Portfolio and Consideration of the Forward Work Programme  









Cofnodir y trafodion hyn yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir cyfieithiad Saesneg o gyfraniadau yn y Gymraeg.


These proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, an English translation of Welsh speeches is included.



Aelodau’r pwyllgor yn bresennol
Committee members in attendance


Mick Antoniw



Mark Drakeford

Llafur (Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor)
Labour (Committee Chair)


Rebecca Evans



Janet Finch-Saunders

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives


Vaughan Gething



Elin Jones

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales


Lynne Neagle



Lindsay Whittle

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales


Kirsty Williams

Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru

Welsh Liberal Democrats



Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn bresennol
National Assembly for Wales officials in attendance




Sarah Hatherley

Gwasanaeth Ymchwil yr Aelodau
Members Research Service


Joanest Jackson          


Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser


Llinos Madeley




Claire Morris




Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 9.29 a.m.
The meeting began at 9.29 a.m.



Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau a Dirprwyon
Introduction, Apologies
and Substitutions



[1]               Mark Drakeford: Bore da. Croesawaf yr Aelodau i gyd i’r cyfarfod cyntaf hwn o’r Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol. Byddaf yn gwneud y cyhoeddiadau swyddogol yn Gymraeg, i agor y cyfarfod ac i symud rhwng yr eitemau. Mae’r cyfarfod yn un dwyieithog, felly mae croeso ichi ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg neu’r Saesneg. Gellir defnyddio’r clustffonau i glywed y cyfieithiad o’r Gymraeg i’r Saesneg ar sianel 1, a gallwch godi lefel y sain ar sianel 0.


Mark Drakeford: Good morning. I welcome all Members to this first meeting of the Health and Social Care Committee. I will make the official announcements in Welsh, to open the meeting and to move between the different items. The meeting is bilingual, so feel free to use Welsh or English. You can use the headphones to hear the translation from Welsh into English on channel 1, and you can amplify the sound on channel 0.



9.30 a.m.




[2]               Dylai pobl droi eu ffonau symudol neu unrhyw offer electronig arall i ffwrdd. Mae’n dweud yma hefyd y dylwn atgoffa Aelodau, gan fod hwn yn gyfarfod cyhoeddus ffurfiol, nad oes angen iddynt gyffwrdd â’r microffonau. Nid wyf yn sicr beth mae hynny’n ei olygu, ond dyna yw’r neges. Os yw’r larwm tân yn canu, rhaid dilyn cyfarwyddiadau’r tywyswyr.


People should switch off their mobile phones or any other electronic equipment. It also says here that I should remind Members, as this is a formal public meeting, that there is no need for them to touch the microphones. I am not certain what that means, but that is the message. In the event of a fire alarm, we should follow the ushers’ instructions.


[3]               Yr ydym wedi cael un ymddiheuriad: nid yw Darren Millar yn gallu bod yma’r bore yma ond gall fod yma’r wythnos nesaf.

We have had one apology: Darren Millar is unable to be with us this morning, but he will be able to be here next week.



[4]               I will only say this today; I am not going to say it at every meeting. You will be aware that, if there are formal or informal interests to declare, it is the responsibility of individual Members to do that, either at the start of the meeting or as we come to the items that are relevant to any declaration. Everybody is familiar with this, so I am not going to repeat it every time.


9.31 a.m.



Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol—Ffyrdd o Weithio

Health and Social Care Committee—Ways of Working



[5]               Mark Drakeford: We have a paper accompanying this item, which sets out the formal establishment of committees and looks at potential ways in which the committee might want to go about its business over the coming months. You will have had a chance to look at it. If anybody has any questions to raise on the paper’s content or wish to add any observations to what it has to say, now is your chance to do so.



[6]               It is a standard paper that is, on the whole, going to all committees as a starting point for their work during this period. You will know that the major change from the previous Assembly is that this committee will deal with subject matters in the field of health and social care and any legislation that has to be scrutinised by committee. That means that we will have to be prepared to be reasonably flexible in the way that we think of our timing, because we do not know yet—and will not know until next week, at the earliest—what legislation might be coming to us. I am keen that, this week and next week, we do not take decisions that would tie our hands before we know things that will be important to us later.



[7]               Kirsty Williams: I endorse your point of view that we should not make any decisions at this stage about how to organise the committee’s timetable until we see the legislative programme and have an awareness of the legislation that the committee will be expected to deal with. We should also bear in mind that we need to get a proper balance between dealing with the legislation correctly and appropriately and the other remits that this committee has, as outlined in the paper. We need to be cognisant of the fact that the committee might want to look at specific issues around the scrutiny of Ministers who cover this committee’s remit, as well as policy scrutiny and policy outcomes or areas where the committee would have an interest. The challenge for us is getting that balance between legislation and scrutiny work. As you say, flexibility is the key at this stage.



[8]               Mark Drakeford: Thank you, that is helpful. You will know, of course, that the Business Committee has decided that we will have one and a half days a fortnight set aside for the committee to meet. It is looking as though that will be all day Thursday one week, and a Wednesday morning the next. We will know that for sure after next week’s Business Committee, when I think the timetable for the autumn will be agreed. That is the time that we have to play with, and I think that we agree that it should be flexible for the time being, at least.



[9]               Against that background, I wonder whether you would be happy with the suggestion that, over the summer, we do at least two things. We come on to another one or two in a moment, but we could use this opportunity, first, to consult with the sector—those organisations out there in Wales that have an interest in our remit. We could take views from them over the summer as to topics that they think are particularly important for the committee to look at, and it would be for us to feed that into our considerations in the autumn. Secondly, it would be interesting to hear from organisations that have had a lot of experience of interacting with committees of the Assembly as to ways of working. We could ask whether they have any thoughts about the way that we do our business. We might want to think about that and feed it into our considerations. The summer might be a useful time to actively tell people that we are interested in their views. Lindsay is next, and then Kirsty.



[10]           Lindsay Whittle: I notice from the legacy report that we have been given that stakeholders were invited in February 2011 to work with this committee. I guess you feel that it is important that we introduce ourselves as a committee to those stakeholders. We have been rushing around like scalded cats these last few weeks, meeting various groups, and I have a few questions that I wanted to ask about our future work. There is a lot of pressure on Members from the very worthwhile causes out there—perhaps there are far too many of them—but I am sure that, as a committee, we will do our best to tackle as many as we can. Are you suggesting, Chair, that we should meet these stakeholders during the recess? Is that possible? It may be fairly easy for you and me, because we are local, but less so for others.



[11]           Mark Drakeford: I was not particularly suggesting that we formally, as a committee, meet organisations over the summer. I am sure that you are right, Lindsay, that there will be lots of individual opportunities in constituencies and at events like the Eisteddfod and so on, when we will be approached by organisations that know that we are members of this committee and that want to influence our work programme. However, I was thinking more of building on that point in the legacy report that you mentioned. The previous committee did actively go out to the sector to try to make sure that people knew that we are interested in what they have to say to us, and that we are prepared to be influenced by their views on what is important and the topics that we should look at. I just wanted to build on that a bit over the summer wherever those opportunities exist. I will go to Kirsty, and then Mick and Rebecca.



[12]           Kirsty Williams: I am not averse to going back out to consult with people about what they feel this committee should look at, if we feel that it will add value to the suggestions that came in previously, and if we think that more organisations would respond to a new consultation. There were a number of people who responded last time, and maybe they would wonder why they were being asked to do so again on exactly the same premise. If you think that it would add value then it is appropriate, but one of my priorities would be to hear from the Minister as early as possible and to have a comprehensive statement about her intentions. We have had questions in the Chamber and there have been a few debates that have looked at some of the broader issues, but an early opportunity for this committee to hear from the Minister and test her on her stated way forward, and how she believes that that will make a difference, would be the priority for me. That might set us up with some ideas regarding what this committee might want to focus on.



[13]           Mark Drakeford: I should mention now—we will come back to it in the next item, but this will give you a chance to think about it—that there has been some correspondence between the clerks and the Minister’s office already, as we were hoping that we might hear from the Ministers in one of the two meetings that are scheduled to take place before recess. The best that the Ministers were able to offer at such short notice—and this is short notice for them, in terms of their diaries—is for both the Minister and the Deputy Minister to come to our next meeting, but for a brief period only. When we discuss the next agenda item, it will be up to us to decide whether we want to invite them. If we were to do so, we would have half an hour with them, during which they would set out their stall and provide us with a written report to look at. I have made it clear, through the clerks, that that would not be a scrutiny session. It would not fulfil, in any way, our wish to scrutinise them. However, it would give them a chance to tell us, in broad terms, which major issues they believe that they will be dealing with during the rest of this year. As Kirsty said, that might contribute to our way of thinking about what the committee might do. Of course, we would certainly like to have them back properly in the autumn for a more normal scrutiny session. If we want to do that, it is an offer that is open to us. We can decide in a short while whether we want to take up that offer. I will bring Mick in at this point, before turning to Rebecca and Elin.



[14]           Mick Antoniw: It seems to me that one area in which it would be useful to do some scoping work, particularly over the summer, is social care, which is an issue that is going to hit us immensely. I am referring to matters such as residential nursing homes, the position regarding Southern Cross and its divesting of certain homes, plus all the half-announcements that are beginning to come out of Westminster on funding and so on. I have great difficulty in getting an overall picture of the state of play in Wales. It seems to me that there is a process of continuous change at the moment. Some local authorities are transferring over to the private sector, but what are the arrangements in respect of that? I am also referring to the issue of regulation, and how all this fits into the picture. It seems to me that this is almost certain to be the subject of legislation. We will obviously learn more about that later. However, we need to hit the ground running on this, fairly early on.



[15]           Mark Drakeford: I feel that we are drifting into the next agenda item.



[16]           Mick Antoniw: Are we? I am sorry about that.



[17]           Mark Drakeford: No, I am as guilty as anyone of causing that.



[18]           Mick Antoniw: You asked the question.



[19]           Mark Drakeford: Our third agenda item is an opportunity to think about issues that the committee could take up. I will now bring in Rebecca and Elin, and then we will round off this item before moving properly onto the third item.



[20]           Rebecca Evans: On ways of working and engaging with the voluntary sector and others, in my previous role in the voluntary sector, I became aware of certain events that looked at exactly that topic—the challenges for the new Assembly, legislation and so on. I think that those events might have been part of the Voices for Change Cymru project. I know that we could get information on that project from the external affairs team at the Assembly. Perhaps we could obtain some useful feedback about those consultation events, to see how the voluntary sector envisages working with us.



[21]           Mark Drakeford: That is really helpful. Elin, would you like to come in?



[22]           Elin Jones: Hoffwn gytuno â’r Cadeirydd a Kirsty ynglŷn â’r angen i gael y Gweinidog a’r Dirprwy Weinidog yma’n gynnar yn ystod ein rhaglen waith, er mwyn iddynt gael cyfle i gyflwyno eu rhaglen waith hwythau ar gyfer y pum mlynedd nesaf. Ni wn pa mor fuddiol fyddai cael y Gweinidogion yma wythnos nesaf am hanner awr. Credaf y byddai’n fwy buddiol inni ganolbwyntio ar gael y Gweinidogion yma yn ystod ein cyfarfod cyntaf neu ein hail gyfarfod y tymor nesaf. Byddai hynny’n rhoi cyfle iddynt baratoi cyflwyniad inni dros yr haf ar eu rhaglen waith ar gyfer y pum mlynedd nesaf. Byddai hynny’n gyfle, felly, i’r Gweinidogion roi cyflwyniad inni ac yn gyfle inni holi’r Gweinidogion ynghylch y cyflwyniad hwnnw. Nid oes gennyf wrthwynebiad cryf i’r syniad o wahodd y Gweinidogion yma wythnos nesaf, ond credaf y dylai’r pwyllgor ganolbwyntio ar gael cyflwyniad llawn gan y Gweinidogion ar eu rhaglen waith yn gynnar yn ystod y tymor nesaf. Byddai hynny’n rhoi cyfle inni ddeall y rhaglen honno ac i ofyn cwestiynau i’r Gweinidogion, os ydym am wneud hynny.


Elin Jones: I would like to voice agreement with the Chair and with Kirsty on the need to have the Minister and Deputy Minister here early in our work programme, so that they have an opportunity to present to us their work programme for the next five years. I do not know how beneficial it would be to have the Ministers here next week for half an hour. I think that it would be more beneficial to focus on getting them here during our first or second meeting next term. That would give the Ministers an opportunity to prepare a presentation over the summer on their work programme for the next five years. It would be an opportunity, therefore, for the Ministers to give us a presentation and for us to ask them questions about it. I do not have any strong objections to the idea of inviting the Ministers here next week, but I believe that the committee should focus on getting a full presentation from the Ministers on their work programme early next term. That would give us an opportunity to gain an understanding of the programme and to ask the Ministers questions, if we wish to do so.  


[23]           Mark Drakeford: Hoffwn ddychwelyd at un pwynt yr wyf wedi ei wneud yn barod. Yr wyf wedi ei wneud yn glir, wrth siarad â’r clerc a staff y Gweinidogion, os ydynt yn dod i’n cyfarfod yr wythnos nesaf, nid sesiwn graffu fydd honno; ni fydd yn fwy na sesiwn hanner awr iddynt wneud cyflwyniad i ni ac i ni gael cyfle i drafod yn fyr gyda nhw. Y peth pwysicaf inni, fel pwyllgor, yw gwahodd y Gweinidogion yn ôl yn gynnar yn yr hydref os yw’n bosibl a chael sesiwn lawn. Gallwn ddweud hynny wythnos nesaf os ydym eisiau eu cael yma.


Mark Drakeford: I would like to return to a point that I have already made. I have made it clear, in talking to the clerk and the Ministers’ staff, that if they come to our meeting next week, it will not be a scrutiny session; it will be no more than a half-hour session for them to give us a presentation and for us to have an opportunity for a brief discussion with them. The most important thing for us, as a committee, is to invite the Ministers back early in the autumn, if that is possible, to have a full session. We can say that next week, if we want to have them here.


9.45 a.m.




[24]           To summarise where we have got to on our first substantive item, we have had a chance to look at the paper. I take on board the points that Kirsty and Rebecca have made that we already know a lot about what the sector thinks that our priorities ought to be and we know that work has gone on in the past to try to learn lessons about ways of working between committees and the sector. Over the summer, we will keep that door open and say to people that if there are any other ideas or anything new that they want to suggest to us—they do not need to repeat everything that they have told us before—we are keen to hear from them. Lots of committee members are new to it and there will be people out there who will want to ensure that those new Members have heard from them. It is a cultural thing, is it not? As a committee, we want to get the message out to people that we are keen to be as open and engaged as we can be and will listen to what people have to say to us. If we pitch it in that way, I hope that it will have some value as an exercise, without repeating a lot of the work that has already been carried out.



9.46 a.m.



Y Pwyllgor Iechyd a Gofal Cymdeithasol—Trafod Materion o fewn Portffolio y Pwyllgor ac Ystyried ei Flaenraglen Waith
Health and Social Care Committee—Discussion of Issues within the Committee’s Portfolio and Consideration of the Forward Work Programme



[25]           Mark Drakeford: Fel y dywedais, yr ydym wedi dechrau trafod hyn yn barod.

Mark Drakeford: As I said, we started to discuss this earlier.



[26]           We have covered some of the ground on this, but we will now think, in the flexible way that we discussed at the beginning, about our work in the short term. There is the specific issue of whether we want to take up the invitation to have a half-hour introductory session with the Ministers in our Wednesday meeting and whether, in that meeting, we want to identify a piece of work—it would have to be one piece of work if we want to be flexible—that we would, at least, kick off on this side of the summer. So, if there is something of particular importance or interest, we could get the wheels moving. We have heard from Mick already on the pressing issue to do with social care. That might be part of what we would do.



[27]           Today, I suggest that we have a discussion about whether we think that this is worthwhile and whether we should try to get anything going before the summer. If anyone wants to put any ideas on the table as to what that might be, if we were to decide to do something, we could do that. Through our research service, we could have a paper for the Wednesday meeting identifying those issues, picking up on some of the issues identified in the legacy report. We know that the previous committee has said that it was involved in pieces of work that it thought that we should return to at some point in our work programme. With the benefit of that paper before us, we could make the final decision about any particular piece of work that we might want to do. The first issue today is whether it is worth starting a piece of work on this side of the summer. If we decide that it is, we can have a preliminary identification of any other issues that ought to be on our potential list.



[28]           Janet Finch-Saunders: I have raised my concern about direct payments and the personalisation of social care. That is a concern that has been raised with me. I do not know whether it would add any benefit or value to start a scoping study so soon, before the summer. However, at some stage, we should look at that as a committee, because it was on the last Welsh Government’s agenda and I know that it is a commitment in the fourth Assembly. I would like to see some work carried out on that to see how many people are receiving direct payments across the whole of Wales.



[29]           Lindsay Whittle: One of the questions that I asked in Plenary was about a national screening programme to prevent stroke. I attended the Royal College of Nursing’s briefing, and I was very interested to learn about—I will have to read this, because they are very big words and I am a Valleys boy—atrial fibrillation. The college has extremely innovative ideas for national screening to prevent people falling victim to stroke. Screening for this disease is all the rage in America. Many of us, myself included, believe that stroke is the result of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and so on, but in fact, atrial fibrillation is clearly a major factor. Stroke is the third most common cause of death in Wales, and the condition costs the health and social care budget somewhere in the region of £46 million. If we can prevent stroke, we will save some public money, too. I would therefore like to have a look at what can be done in that regard. The event that I attended was extremely interesting. It was one of those events that I did not leave like a scalded cat; I stayed to the end, because it was just so interesting. We just do not have enough people in Wales working on this problem.



[30]           Mark Drakeford: I was at the same event, and it certainly was very interesting.



[31]           Rebecca Evans: I definitely think that it is worth starting an inquiry before recess, because I know that people want to see the committees working. It would need to be a short and focused inquiry, however. There was recently a diabetes awareness campaign, which was jointly funded by the Welsh Government and local health boards and delivered through community pharmacies and online. If we could look at the impact of the public awareness campaign, it would give us lessons for the future about public health awareness, and it would perhaps give us time to think about the role of community pharmacies as well, which is something that the Government is looking at during this term.



[32]           Vaughan Gething: I think the community pharmacy idea is a good one; it should be fairly short. If we are going to start something, I would not want it to be this side of recess when there is going to be a long-running programme before we are into the detail of the work programme. We could find ourselves tied to too large a commitment, in that we may have to deal with legislation early on—we do not know that yet. It is worth having the Minister and the Deputy Minister come in, however. I do not think that that replaces proper scrutiny in the autumn—that is important. Certainly, if they are going to provide us with something in writing about their early priorities, it would really help us in terms of what our work programme might be.



[33]           On other subjects that we might eventually look at, I do not think that we would do that over the summer, but I agree with Mick that residential care is an issue that we should look at, along with how it is regulated and provided. On the point about preventive and rehabilitative treatments and interventions, the stroke issue is one example, but there are lots of other ways of looking at how we can help to prevent people from ending up in an acute setting. The current and future role of allied health professionals is also something that we might want to look at.



[34]           Again, with regard to prevention, it is about more than preventing ill health, as there is a financial benefit to preventive work as well, but we would need to look at what investment that may require and how we might reach your goal. The same is true about rehabilitation, and not just in the health sector, as it applies to social care as well. Many of those who used to be called home helps and home carers in a number of local authorities are now called reablement operatives or assistants. There is a range of different titles for what is essentially the same type of post. It is about how the social care that is still being provided by local authorities in the community is moving towards that sort of model. I would be interested in knowing how consistent that is, and how joined-up that is with the health service. Equally, I would like to know what sort of training and development those people are given to go out and provide that sort of assistance. That is for the future, rather than the summer. I think that the community pharmacies idea is an easy and distinct subject to start with, however.



[35]           Kirsty Williams: One of the things that we need to watch out for is falling into the old process of being bogged down in a lengthy policy review that is very worthy, a very interesting subject to look at, and come up with a long list of recommendations to which the Minister says ‘Well, we’re doing all of that anyway’, and it sits on someone’s shelf. I have been the victim of too many of those types of inquiries. When we say that we want to look at certain issues, we must be very clear about what we expect the outcome of our work to be and where we think it will add value: will it add value because it will put pressure on Government to do something that it is not currently doing, or will it get the Government to change course so that we can demonstrate that what it is doing at the moment is not the correct way of solving a problem, and that we can come up with a more innovative set of solutions?



[36]           I would like to look at current Government initiatives that we are spending money on, and testing whether those are delivering. For instance, we could do something quite quickly this side of the recess on something that we know that the Government has taken action, namely the new money for orthopaedics. Do we know whether that new money for orthopaedics will actually do what is says on the tin? Are we satisfied that that is the right action, or is the Government spending money on a certain set of responses when it should be spending it on something else instead? We might be in danger of doing stuff that is very interesting to us and we are anxious to find out more about it, but does it ultimately change Government policy, does it get the Government to do something differently or at all in that area, or does it test the expected outcomes from a Government initiative? No-one could accuse the previous Government of not spending money in this area, but are we getting the outcomes for that level of investment? Those are the tests that we should apply when we are trying to decide what to do. That is not to say that the suggestions that have come up are not great things to do, but let us apply those tests to them so that we know why we are doing it and what we hope to achieve at the end, so that it is worth while.



[37]           Elin Jones: I think that Kirsty is right that we should be looking at short, sharp inquiries on various aspects of work that is currently under way and what we can add in our scrutiny for that. However, there has to be a mix of that approach and also more in-depth work for this committee. I am about to propose something which would probably end up as a lengthy, weighty document with a long list of recommendations. It is something that I cannot see that the last committee looked at, but I stand to be corrected on that, namely the use of information technology in the NHS in all aspects of its work, whether patient records or diagnostics over distance. That would not be a short, sharp inquiry, as it would require quite a bit of detailed support for this committee if it ever wanted to do it. I do not think that that is something that we should start over the summer and carry on in the autumn—if we are going to do that kind of inquiry, it would take a lot of commitment from the committee to do that, and we need to think about it. However, it is an area of work in which I am interested, and that is what I am saying it now.



[38]           Lynne Neagle: I agree with Kirsty, because we had a very similar discussion in the Children and Young People’s Committee yesterday. I have also sat on committees where we spent a long time discussing very worthy and interesting topics, but which changed absolutely nothing at the end of it. We need to be very careful that what we are doing has an impact for people out there, because that is ultimately what it is all about. I am interested in Kirsty’s idea about looking at the money spent on orthopaedics because waiting times and problems in Gwent, in particular, have been a long-standing issue for me.



[39]           The other issue that I wanted to flag up, which is not something that we could do as a short, sharp review before we go into recess, is food safety. There are still a lot of outstanding issues there with regards to how things have moved on since the E. coli inquiry. The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has recently expressed concern about the ‘scores on the doors’ idea and the way in which that has been implemented because it is not backed by legislation. I know that the Government is considering whether we should legislate on it. I would like us to consider whether we are doing enough on the food safety issues and whether there is more to which we should be giving a bit of statutory back-up.



10.00 a.m.



[40]           Lindsay Whittle: We have a lot of work to do to scrutinise this Government’s role in the next five years. We have already heard from around the table that there are many priorities that we all wish to tackle. If you have too many priorities, you have no priorities at all. All of the causes are worth while, but I think that we need to choose two or three as a maximum, so that we can drive services forward in the appropriate timescale and, if we are successful, move on to the next two or three priorities. If we put a list together we will have to go to the very top to write all of the issues that we must tackle, and it is simply not possible. Hopefully, by being more realistic, we can achieve, which is what we all want on this committee.



[41]           Mark Drakeford: Thank you very much. All of that was very interesting and useful. I will try to sum up where I think we have reached as a result of it, and to make some suggestions about what we do next. As far as I could tell, there was general agreement around the table that we should invite the two Ministers to next week’s meeting for this preliminary and introductory session. We will be glad of their written report, but we will make it clear that this is simply a preliminary step towards a more formal scrutiny session early in the autumn. If you are happy with that, we will make sure that that happens.



[42]           In respect of work that we might set in train immediately, I sense that most people think that it would be useful—because of the expectations that are out there, and because of the number of topics that we would like to be able to address—if we were to at least identify one in our next meeting that would be short and focused, and we will interested in the impact that it might make, and launch it this side of the summer. We will think about the mechanics of that next week.



[43]           As well as subjects for short, focused inquiries, there are longer-term trends inside the health service—bigger issues that shape the whole way in which health and social care services are provided—in which we will want to take an interest. However, we will not be able to think that through by the end of next Wednesday. All of the ideas that we have had will be useful for when we come back in the autumn, and they will shape our larger work programme. I am keen to leave that wider discussion until we come back, because we will not know until next week the proposed scheduling of the Government’s legislative programme. From what we know already, we could anticipate that at least two major Bills are likely to come our way. We do not know, but they might be early in that programme. We might not have to face any of them until after Christmas, but if we find out that a legislative workload is heading our way early after the summer, that would have an impact on other bits of the work programme that we would want to put in.



[44]           If you are happy, we will ask for a paper that will bring together the suggestions that we have heard this morning, some of the material from the legacy report, along with some other ideas, perhaps, that we know are out there in the ether about our potential work programme. Out of those, we will try to identify, next Wednesday, just one that we will launch so that, during the summer, people who are interested in it can begin to think about how they might want to interact with us, present evidence to us, and so forth. We will then come back to that paper early, when we return after the summer, and use that paper to shape our longer-term work programme, bearing in mind the information that we will then have about the legislative load that the committee will also have to find time for. Are Members happy with that? I see that you are. Thank you very much indeed.



[45]           Un peth nad wyf wedi’i wneud, ac ymddiheuraf am hynny, yw cyflwyno’r bobl o gwmpas y bwrdd. Felly, gwnaf hynny cyn i’n sesiwn ddod i ben. Dechreuwn gyda Joanest.

One thing that I have not done, for which I apologise, is to introduce the people around the table. So, I will do that before I draw the meeting to a close. We will start with Joanest.




[46]           Ms Jackson: I am Joanest Jackson and I am a senior legal adviser at the Assembly. I am the lawyer allocated to advise this committee in its scrutiny work and, more particularly, in any legislative aspects of its work.



[47]           Ms Morris: I am Claire Morris and I am the second clerk to the committee. I will assist with the procedural aspects of the committee’s work.



[48]           Ms Madeley: Llinos Madeley ydw i a fi yw clerc y pwyllgor.

Ms Madeley: I am Llinos Madeley and I am clerk to the committee.



[49]           I am responsible for the team that supports the committee’s work and provides any advice that you need as a committee in undertaking your work programme. I am happy to help whenever you need assistance from the Assembly side to co-ordinate that assistance on your behalf.



[50]           Ms Hatherley: I am Sarah Hatherley and I am the research team leader for the health and social policy team within the research service, which covers health and social care. Sitting behind me are two colleagues—Steve Boyce, who covers social care, and Victoria Paris, who covers health policy. We will be the researchers working to support the committee with any briefings it might need.



[51]           Mark Drakeford: Diolch yn fawr. Yn olaf, i lawr ar waelod y bwrdd heb feicroffon mae Shôn Williams, sy’n gweithio ar Gofnod y Trafodion.

Mark Drakeford: Thank you very much. Finally, at the end of the table without a microphone is Shôn Williams, who works on the Record of Proceedings.



[52]           This is the end of the public part of the meeting. We will meet again next Wednesday. For those committee members who would find it useful—and I know that not everyone will need it, because some Members have been around this track before—there is now an informal briefing session, looking at legislation and the committee’s role in the way that legislation progresses through the Assembly. So, you are all more than welcome to stay for that, although some of you do not need to stay, I am sure. Diolch yn fawr.



Daeth y cyfarfod i ben am 10.07 a.m.
The meeting ended at 10.07 a.m.