Answers to questions not reached in Plenary24/05/2023
Answers are published in the language in which they are provided, with a translation into English of responses provided in Welsh.
Questions For - Minister for Economy
Will the Welsh Government provide an update on the work of the data nation accelerator?
The Wales DNA has worked on an exciting range of projects in the last two years. These have delivered insightful and interesting research and outcomes, helping support our AI ambitions in driving economic growth, improving public services, and achieving our aims of a stronger, fairer, greener Wales.
Will the Minister make a statement on the governance in relation to free ports?
The free-port programme in Wales is a joint venture between the Welsh and UK Governments. As a result, confirmed governance structures are in place. These arrangements include a joint board that consists of senior officials from both the Welsh and UK Governments.
Will the Minister provide an update on the value of the food production sector to the Welsh economy?
The Welsh food foundation sector had a record turnover of £8.5 billion in 2021 according to the Office for National Statistics’ data. The GVA figure for the Welsh food and drink supply chain in the same year was £3.69 billion. GVA figures for 2022 will be released in 2024. The Welsh Government remains committed to the food and drink industry and is developing the cluster programme and networks to maximise economic growth and support food businesses in the face of challenging conditions.
Will the Minister provide an update on Welsh Government support for apprenticeships?
We are investing in apprenticeships to help employers to drive productivity and economic growth. Apprenticeships are responding to skills gaps and supporting our net-zero ambitions, the foundational economy and public services.
Questions For - Minister for Health and Social Services
Will the Minister provide an update on special measures at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board?
Following the escalation to special measures, I have taken swift and immediate actions: there is a new chair, independent members and chief executive. I have appointed independent advisers and mobilised support from the NHS executive. Given the seriousness and exceptional nature of this escalation, these arrangements will be monitored closely to ensure progress.
What measures is the Welsh Government taking to reduce waiting times for the assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders?
In 2022, we launched the neurodivergence improvement programme, backed by £12 million up to 2025. We have already allocated £1.4 million to regional partnership boards, with a further £4.5 million available this year. On 2 May, an oral statement updated Members on the progress achieved. Reducing assessment waiting times is a programme priority.
What assessment has the Government made of the availability of dental services in South Wales East?
Last financial year in the Aneurin Bevan health board area, nearly 220,000 patients received NHS dental treatment from the general dental service. Over 30,000 of these were new patients.
What is the Government doing to create a sustainable future for NHS dentistry in South Wales East?
The reform of the dental contract is designed to improve patient access and place NHS dentistry on a sustainable footing. I have provided financial incentives, additional investment and facilitated diversification of the profession to ensure levels of NHS dentistry are sustainable.