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Demand for Welsh health projects clarity

The leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has demanded a formal statement on the future of health construction projects after comments made by health minister Lesley Griffiths.

Ms Griffiths has been reported as saying all health capital projects in Wales would be delayed until health boards resubmitted plans in the new year.

Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said: “I was outraged to hear the minister admit that projects announced just in time for a crucial election may now be cancelled. It seems that the Labour party has been promising new hospital buildings across Wales that they never had any intention of delivering.

“The minister has since said that projects which have been approved will continue, but they need to be clear on what this means. We don’t know if contracts which have not been formally signed will now be shelved.”

She added: “I have already tabled a formal question demanding the minister provides detail on which projects will now be shelved - I am calling on her to come clean today, so that people across Wales will know what the impact will be on their services.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “It would be totally irresponsible for us to approve all bids from health boards for capital investment in major projects before we understand their relevance with their final plans for service delivery. Work on all contractually committed and approved projects will, however, continue as planned.

“As a result of the significant cut to our capital budget by the UK Government, we must ensure that all future capital investment is focused on maximising improvement in patient care, so that we can deliver within our finite resources.”‪