Ann Clwyd, the Welsh Labour MP, today gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly's Health Committee on the state of our NHS in Wales.
Despite multiple attempts by Labour to halt Ann Clwyd's appearance at the Committee, she gave evidence to AMs today. She said that her evidence showed people were "too scared" to complain about their services for fear of upsetting the staff that treated them.
Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, heard Ann Clwyd's evidence on the Committee. She said:
"Ann Clwyd's evidence today once again highlighted that many hospitals in Wales are getting the basics wrong. That is exactly why it is essential my 'More Nurses' bill becomes a reality so that we have safe staff nursing levels in our hospitals. Nurses in Wales are under huge pressure, with more patients to care for than any other part of the UK.
"While she may have conducted a review into the English NHS, Ann Clwyd still received a large amount of information from Welsh patients. For that reason it was entirely right that she was asked to give evidence today. It's disappointing that Labour continuously tried to block her from giving evidence. Many in Labour have tried to paint Ann Clwyd as a villain; they don't seem to realise that problems in our NHS will never be sorted out if the Welsh Government continues to ignore criticisms.
"The NHS complaints system must be improved. Many patients and NHS staff feel their voices aren't being heard and they are often left feeling helpless. That simply can't continue. Lessons must be learnt and the NHS must be open to constructive criticism."
Ann Clwyd's evidence comes on the day that figures show the Welsh Labour Government haven't met their urgent cancer waiting time figures for 6 years.
New figures for May show that only 88.5% of newly-diagnosed urgent suspected cancer patients started their treatment within 62 days. This is down from 89.7% in April 2014.
The Welsh Labour Government's target of 95% of urgent suspected cancer patients starting treatment in the 62 day window has not been met since June 2008, six years ago.
Kirsty Williams added:
"The fact that the Welsh Labour Government's cancer waiting time target hasn't been met for 6 years now is a disgrace. Labour's Health Minister pledged earlier this year that this target would be met, yet things are going backwards under his watch.
"Being diagnosed with cancer can be terrifying for patients and their families. It's completely unacceptable that many are being forced to wait over two months until they start their treatment, adding to the anxiety and fear that they'll be facing.
"I wish I could say this was the extent of the problems in our health service, but the simple fact is that the Welsh Labour Government constantly fail to deliver for Wales.
"Cancer waiting times not met in 6 years. A&E waiting time targets never met. The worst ambulance response times in the whole of the UK. Welsh Labour's dire record on our NHS is plain for all to see. The people of Wales deserve better than Welsh Labour's NHS."