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National Assembly for Wales post-election update - what has changed?

2 Jun 2016

Who is now responsible for health and social services across Wales after the 2016 National Assembly for Wales election?

Elections to the Welsh Assembly in May 2016 saw the Labour Party win just under half of the seats available. This result allowed Carwyn Jones to continue as First Minister, but it also meant that he had to seek support from other political parties before forming a government. 

Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams, who worked with the RCN to bring about the Nurse Staffing Levels Act, was invited to join the Welsh Government as Education Secretary. Technically this isn’t a coalition, but Kirsty Williams will be expected to support the Welsh Government going forward. In exchange, the Labour Party has promised to extend the Nurse Staffing Levels Act to cover more care settings, a key component of the Lib Dems’ election campaign. 

Labour also had to grant some concessions to Plaid Cymru in exchange for their support in the vote to reappoint Carwyn Jones as First Minister. Their agreement includes the pledge that the Welsh Government will recruit and train additional primary healthcare professionals – this will likely include nurses. Special committees have also been set up so that Labour can consult Plaid Cymru on new policy ideas well in advance. 

At a ministerial level, Vaughan Gething has been given a major promotion to become Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport. He will be in charge of overseeing any changes to the Nurse Staffing Levels Act. Rebecca Evans becomes his deputy as Minister for Social Services and Public Health.