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Monday, 1 December 2008

Where Wales’ rugby team leads, the NHS should follow

I can’t let this Monday pass without offering big congratulations to the Wales rugby team after their inspiring win at the weekend. The determination and tenacity of all players involved in the Southern Hemisphere scalp, bodes well for the future of the sport here.

Amidst all the celebrations though, I was disappointed to hear about Jamie Roberts’ injury and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. It’s clear the medical student has a bright future both in rugby and hopefully, the Welsh NHS.

The successes of our national side this year must in part come down to the strength of the management set up. Since Warren Gatland came in as coach, he’s worked on building solid foundations and a professional capacity so that Wales can compete with the best teams in the world. By getting advice from the best in the business, we have a team that Wales wants, needs and deserves.

We can consider the reform of the Welsh NHS in the same way, as the change in fortunes of our rugby team. The proposed changes provide an opportunity to give patients an NHS they can be proud of. Decision-makers have the opportunity to take the best, appropriate professional advice, undoubtedly from doctors who know more than most how the service runs, being at the coal face of the NHS every day. If the WAG looks to doctors when implementing the reforms, then they will be going a long way to ensuring our NHS is as successful and inspiring as our rugby team was at walloping the Wallabies.

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