Y Cyfarfod Llawn - Y Bumed Senedd

Plenary - Fifth Senedd

15/01/2020

Cyfarfu'r Cynulliad am 13:30 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair. 

The Assembly met at 13:30 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

Datganiad gan y Llywydd
Statement by the Llywydd

Cyn symud at y cwestiynau, hoffwn hysbysu'r Cynulliad, y Senedd, yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 26.75, fod Bil Senedd ac Etholiadau (Cymru) wedi cael Cydsyniad Brenhinol heddiw. 

Before we move to questions, I would like to inform the Assembly, or the Senedd, that, in accordance with Standing Order 26.75, the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill was given Royal Assent today. 

1. Cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Addysg
1. Questions to the Minister for Education

A'r eitem gyntaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Addysg, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Suzy Davies. 

And our first item is questions to the Minister for Education, and the first question is from Suzy Davies.

Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol
Additional Learning Needs

1. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gyllid ar gyfer anghenion dysgu ychwanegol? OAQ54913

1. Will the Minister provide an update on funding for additional learning needs? OAQ54913

Local authorities are responsible for providing suitable provision for all learners, including those with special educational needs, and funding is allocated to local authorities via the revenue support grant. I have also made available £20 million to support the wider ALN transformation programme. 

Mae awdurdodau lleol yn gyfrifol am ddarparu darpariaeth addas ar gyfer pob dysgwr, gan gynnwys y rhai ag anghenion addysgol arbennig, a dyrennir cyllid i awdurdodau lleol drwy'r grant cynnal refeniw. Rwyf hefyd wedi sicrhau bod £20 miliwn ar gael i gefnogi'r rhaglen drawsnewid ADY ehangach.

Thank you for that answer, and, of course, to be fair, in committee last week, you spoke to us about that pot of funding for helping local authorities and educators prepare for the requirements of the additional learning needs Act. And in the draft budget, you've committed £9 million to two other areas of expenditure, including helping councils deal with the present situation on providing additional learning needs support. And, yet, we do know that, as a result of the UK Government's spending round, the consequential to the Welsh block from its budget allocation to special educational needs and additional learning needs is £35 million. So, I'm not talking about the £700 million headlined by the Secretary of State for Education, which we'll all watch out for, but the £35 million from the spending round. You prioritise your spending, I do know that, but I can't believe that our need for investment in SEN and ALN is so much less than in England. Why haven't you spent £35 million on SEN and ALN?

Diolch ichi am yr ateb hwnnw, ac wrth gwrs, i fod yn deg, yn y pwyllgor yr wythnos diwethaf, fe wnaethoch siarad â ni am y cyllid hwnnw ar gyfer helpu awdurdodau lleol ac addysgwyr i baratoi ar gyfer gofynion y Ddeddf anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Ac yn y gyllideb ddrafft, rydych wedi ymrwymo £9 miliwn i ddau faes gwariant arall, gan gynnwys helpu cynghorau i ymdrin â'r sefyllfa bresennol mewn perthynas â darparu cymorth anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Ac eto, o ganlyniad i gylch gwariant Llywodraeth y DU, gwyddom fod £35 miliwn o gyllid canlyniadol i'r bloc Cymreig o'i ddyraniad cyllideb i anghenion addysgol arbennig ac anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Felly, nid wyf yn sôn am y £700 miliwn a gafodd sylw gan yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Addysg, ac y bydd pawb ohonom yn ei ddisgwyl yn eiddgar, rwy’n sôn am y £35 miliwn o'r cylch gwariant. Rydych yn blaenoriaethu eich gwariant, rwy'n gwybod hynny, ond ni allaf gredu bod ein hangen am fuddsoddiad mewn AAA ac ADY gymaint yn llai nag yn Lloegr. Pam nad ydych chi wedi gwario £35 miliwn ar AAA ac ADY?

Well, as I said to the Member in answering her initial question, the vast majority of school costs are met out of the revenue support grant. The Member will be aware that the Government has been able to give a significant increase to local authorities this year. The addition to the local government settlement and other new funding for schools and social care totals £220 million for 2020-21, and this is more than we received in the spending round in relation to additional schools and social care funding from England. The extra funding for additional learning needs in England is included in the overall school increases, so we have been able to ensure additional money for the RSG. I'm aware of specific pressures within the ALN community, and that's why we will complement the increase in the RSG with an additional £8 million from my own budget and in excess of £1 million to support specialist placements for the children with the most profound needs for post-16 study. 

Wel, fel y dywedais wrth yr Aelod wrth ateb ei chwestiwn cyntaf, mae'r mwyafrif helaeth o gostau ysgol yn cael eu talu o'r grant cynnal refeniw. Fe fydd yr Aelod yn ymwybodol fod y Llywodraeth wedi gallu cynyddu’r arian a roddir i awdurdodau lleol yn sylweddol eleni. Mae'r ychwanegiad at y setliad llywodraeth leol, a chyllid newydd arall ar gyfer ysgolion a gofal cymdeithasol yn gwneud cyfanswm o £220 miliwn ar gyfer 2020-2021, ac mae hyn yn fwy na'r hyn a gawsom yn y cylch gwariant mewn perthynas â chyllid ychwanegol i ysgolion a gofal cymdeithasol o Loegr. Mae'r cyllid ychwanegol ar gyfer anghenion dysgu ychwanegol yn Lloegr wedi'i gynnwys yn y cynnydd cyffredinol ar gyfer ysgolion, felly rydym wedi gallu sicrhau arian ychwanegol ar gyfer y grant cynnal refeniw. Rwy'n ymwybodol o bwysau penodol yn y gymuned ADY, a dyna pam y byddwn yn ategu'r cynnydd yn y grant cynnal refeniw gydag £8 miliwn ychwanegol o fy nghyllideb fy hun, a mwy nag £1 filiwn i sicrhau lleoliadau arbenigol ar gyfer y plant sydd â’r anghenion mwyaf dwys ar gyfer astudio ôl-16. 

Minister, I appreciate very much the extra money you've put in. I have a constituent who has got a child who needs that type of support, but unfortunately is not getting it because the diagnosis has not been identified yet. But I also appreciate the £20 million you're giving to the ALN preparations for the Bill being enacted in 2021. Local authorities, therefore, will look very carefully at the additional money, to deliver on the expected increase in requirements that they'll have to meet as a consequence of those changes. Now, as I said, I have a constituent whose child, probably in 18 months' time, would actually get the support, because the requirements are changing, from not just a diagnosis to actually the needs of a child. As a consequence, they will have that support. But councils need money to deliver it. Will you be looking to increase the funding to local authorities in future budgets to ensure that—when this change comes in, when there's an increase, and there is going to be an increase in demand—that increase will be met and those children will get the support they need?

Weinidog, rwy'n gwerthfawrogi'r arian ychwanegol rydych wedi'i roi yn fawr. Mae gennyf etholwr sydd â phlentyn sydd angen y math hwnnw o gefnogaeth, ond yn anffodus, nid yw'n ei gael oherwydd nad oes diagnosis wedi'i wneud eto. Ond hefyd, rwy'n gwerthfawrogi'r £20 miliwn rydych yn ei roi tuag at y paratoadau ADY ar gyfer gweithredu'r Bil yn 2021. Ond bydd awdurdodau lleol, felly, yn edrych yn ofalus iawn ar yr arian ychwanegol, er mwyn iddo gyflawni yn erbyn y cynnydd disgwyliedig yn y gofynion y bydd yn rhaid iddynt eu bodloni o ganlyniad i'r newidiadau hynny. Nawr, fel y dywedais, mae gennyf etholwr y byddai ei blentyn yn cael y gefnogaeth ymhen 18 mis yn ôl pob tebyg oherwydd bod y gofynion yn newid o ddim ond diagnosis i anghenion plentyn mewn gwirionedd. O ganlyniad, byddant yn cael y cymorth hwnnw. Ond mae angen arian ar gynghorau i'w ddarparu. A ydych yn bwriadu cynyddu’r cyllid i awdurdodau lleol yng nghyllidebau’r dyfodol, er mwyn sicrhau—pan ddaw’r newid hwn i rym, pan ddaw’r cynnydd, a bydd cynnydd yn y galw—y bydd y cynnydd hwnnw’n cael ei ariannu ac y bydd y plant hynny’n cael y cymorth y maent ei angen?

Thank you, David, for that question. There are two very important points here. Firstly, my expectation is that every single local education authority in Wales meets the needs of children under current legislation, and there should be no excuse for those needs not being met in anticipation of the introduction of the new ALN Bill. There are protections and rights for those children now, and local authorities should be meeting them. Although, I do have to say, expenditure on SEN in schools by local authorities for this current financial year is budgeted to be in the region of £405 million, which is a 6.1 per cent increase on the year before. So, local authorities are investing in the education of these children.

With regard to the introduction of the Act, you'll be aware that, as I said in answer to Suzy Davies, £20 million has been provided to support that implementation, specifically on the professional learning needs of staff and local education authorities to ensure that that legislation is a success. There will be further financial information available to Members when we publish the statutory code that will underpin that legislation later this year.

Diolch i chi am y cwestiwn hwnnw, David. Mae dau bwynt pwysig iawn yma. Yn gyntaf, rwy'n disgwyl bod pob awdurdod addysg lleol yng Nghymru yn diwallu anghenion plant o dan y ddeddfwriaeth gyfredol, ac ni ddylai fod unrhyw esgus dros beidio â diwallu'r anghenion hynny cyn cyflwyno'r Bil ADY newydd. Mae gan y plant hynny amddiffyniadau a hawliau yn awr, a dylai awdurdodau lleol fod yn eu darparu. Er, mae’n rhaid i mi ddweud, mae gwariant awdurdodau lleol ar AAA mewn ysgolion ar gyfer y flwyddyn ariannol gyfredol hon wedi'i gyllidebu i fod oddeutu £405 miliwn, sy'n gynnydd o 6.1 y cant o'i gymharu â'r flwyddyn flaenorol. Felly, mae awdurdodau lleol yn buddsoddi yn addysg y plant hyn.

O ran cyflwyno'r Ddeddf, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol, fel y dywedais yn fy ateb i Suzy Davies, fod £20 miliwn wedi'i ddarparu i gefnogi'r gwaith o weithredu’r Ddeddf, yn benodol ar gyfer anghenion dysgu proffesiynol staff ac awdurdodau addysg lleol i sicrhau bod y ddeddfwriaeth honno'n llwyddiant. Bydd rhagor o wybodaeth ariannol ar gael i'r Aelodau pan fyddwn yn cyhoeddi'r cod statudol a fydd yn sail i'r ddeddfwriaeth honno yn ddiweddarach eleni. 

13:35

The Minister was kind enough to spend some time yesterday in my constituency meeting with ALN teachers, and I was very grateful to the Minister for both the time she spent talking with those people but also the conversation that took place, which I thought was beneficial for everybody. The teachers there, Minister, were very clear that, in order to deliver the vision, which I think is shared on all sides of this Chamber, they need the resources, the time and the support to be able to get these things right.

Can you give us an undertaking today, Minister, that you will seek to put together this package? Because the legislation was, of course, a part of a transformation programme and not the totality of it. And in delivering the code, when you're able to do so, we will be transforming the experience of education for children and young people with those additional learning needs. 

Roedd y Gweinidog yn ddigon caredig i dreulio rhywfaint o amser yn fy etholaeth ddoe yn cyfarfod ag athrawon ADY, ac roeddwn yn ddiolchgar iawn i'r Gweinidog am yr amser a dreuliodd yn siarad â'r bobl hynny, ond hefyd am y sgwrs a gafwyd, a oedd yn fuddiol i bawb yn fy marn i. Roedd yr athrawon yno, Weinidog, yn dweud yn glir iawn, er mwyn cyflawni'r weledigaeth, sydd, yn fy nhyb i, yn cael ei rhannu ar bob ochr i'r Siambr hon, eu bod angen yr adnoddau, yr amser a'r gefnogaeth i allu cael y pethau hyn yn iawn.

A allwch roi ymrwymiad inni heddiw, Weinidog, y byddwch yn ceisio rhoi'r pecyn hwn at ei gilydd? Oherwydd roedd y ddeddfwriaeth, wrth gwrs, yn rhan o raglen drawsnewid ac nid dyna oedd y rhaglen yn ei chyfanrwydd. Ac wrth gyflawni'r cod, pan fyddwch yn gallu gwneud hynny, byddwn yn trawsnewid profiad addysg i blant a phobl ifanc sydd â'r anghenion dysgu ychwanegol hynny. 

Firstly, can I thank the Member for facilitating that meeting yesterday, and for the efforts of the teachers that I did meet yesterday for the work that they do, day in, day out, in our schools, and the individual who actually looks to co-ordinate the approaches to ALN across the region? It was indeed useful to me to receive their feedback. They were very loud and clear that they do not need any further training on the elements of the new legislation, but now need some training in the practical day-to-day responsibilities of doing that job.

I was also very interested to hear the different approaches as to the status of additional learning needs co-ordinators in school management structures, some of them feeling perhaps that not due weight is given by senior management teams to the needs of that particular role. So, there were very useful discussions, which I will pursue with my officials and will feed back to the Member so that he can feed back to those members of staff who I was very grateful to meet yesterday. 

Yn gyntaf, a gaf fi ddiolch i'r Aelod am hwyluso'r cyfarfod ddoe, ac am ymdrechion yr athrawon y cyfarfûm â hwy ddoe yn y gwaith y maent yn ei wneud o ddydd i ddydd, yn ein hysgolion, a'r unigolyn sy'n ceisio cydlynu dulliau ADY ledled y rhanbarth? Roedd eu hadborth yn ddefnyddiol iawn i mi. Roeddent yn dweud yn glir iawn nad ydynt angen unrhyw hyfforddiant pellach ar elfennau'r ddeddfwriaeth newydd, ond eu bod bellach angen rhywfaint o hyfforddiant mewn perthynas â’r cyfrifoldebau ymarferol o wneud y swydd honno o ddydd i ddydd.

Roedd gennyf ddiddordeb mawr hefyd mewn clywed y gwahanol agweddau tuag at statws cydgysylltwyr anghenion dysgu ychwanegol mewn strwythurau rheoli ysgol, gyda rhai ohonynt yn teimlo efallai nad yw uwch dimau rheoli yn rhoi digon o bwyslais ar anghenion y rôl benodol honno. Felly, cafwyd trafodaethau defnyddiol iawn, a byddaf yn mynd ar eu trywydd gyda fy swyddogion ac yn adrodd yn ôl i'r Aelod fel y gall yntau adrodd yn ôl i'r aelodau staff hynny roeddwn yn ddiolchgar iawn am gael eu cyfarfod ddoe.

Y Cynllun Peilot Gwaith Chwarae Newyn Gwyliau
The Holiday Hunger Playworks Pilot

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am y Cynllun Peilot Gwaith Chwarae Newyn Gwyliau? OAQ54910

2. Will the Minister make a statement on the Holiday Hunger Playworks Pilot? OAQ54910

Over the summer and autumn, we piloted a number of approaches to tackling the issue of holiday hunger, including working with play and community-based settings across Wales through our playworks pilot. The evaluation findings will inform thinking about wider provision next year.

Dros yr haf a'r hydref gwnaethom dreialu nifer o ddulliau o fynd i'r afael â newyn gwyliau, gan gynnwys gweithio gyda lleoliadau chwarae a lleoliadau cymunedol ledled Cymru drwy ein cynllun peilot gwaith chwarae. Bydd canfyddiadau'r gwerthusiad yn llywio syniadau ynglŷn â'r ddarpariaeth ehangach y flwyddyn nesaf.

I'm really pleased to say that we are carrying out this scheme, and it is helping children from low-income families, but I'm sure people would share my distress that hundreds of families—both those in work and receiving benefits, and those relying solely on benefit incomes—feel that they have to depend on such schemes to feed their children during school holidays. It is a mark of 10 years of austerity, and the changes to benefits and entitlements from the Tory Government that have hit families with very little income the hardest. So, we recognise also that must be immensely stressful for the parents and the families to find themselves in these positions of need.

You have said that you are going to evaluate, moving forward, and my question to you, Minister, is: once you have that evaluation and are moving forward with that pilot, is it your intention then to widen the access to those who aren't currently in the pilot and to continue access for those who are?

Rwy'n falch iawn o ddweud ein bod yn cyflawni'r cynllun hwn ac mae'n helpu plant o deuluoedd incwm isel, ond rwy'n siŵr y byddai pobl yn rhannu fy ngofid fod cannoedd o deuluoedd—rhai sy'n gweithio ac yn derbyn budd-daliadau a'r rhai sy'n dibynnu'n llwyr ar incwm budd-daliadau—yn teimlo bod yn rhaid iddynt ddibynnu ar gynlluniau o'r fath i fwydo eu plant yn ystod gwyliau ysgol. Mae'n arwydd o 10 mlynedd o gyni, ac mae newidiadau’r Llywodraeth Dorïaidd i fudd-daliadau a hawliau wedi taro teuluoedd heb fawr o incwm yn galetach na neb arall. Felly, rydym hefyd yn cydnabod bod hynny’n achosi straen aruthrol i rieni a theuluoedd mewn angen o'r fath.

Rydych wedi dweud eich bod yn bwriadu gwerthuso, wrth symud ymlaen, a fy nghwestiwn i chi, Weinidog, yw hwn: pan fyddwch wedi cynnal y gwerthusiad hwnnw ac yn symud ymlaen gyda'r cynllun peilot, ai eich bwriad wedyn yw ehangu mynediad ar gyfer y rheini nad ydynt yn rhan o'r cynllun peilot ar hyn o bryd a pharhau’r mynediad ar gyfer y rheini sy'n rhan o'r cynllun peilot?

Well, Joyce, the reasons why families and children suffer from holiday hunger are ones that are, in many cases, often beyond our control. But I think it is absolutely right that the Welsh Government looks to take action to alleviate the consequences of decisions that are taken elsewhere. In total, the Holiday Hunger Playworks pilot had 92 open-access-play sites and six out-of-school sites. They delivered some 13,000 meals, which just shows you the scale of that particular programme.

It is important that we remember that that is just one part of our attempts to tackle and to alleviate the problem of holiday hunger. It sits alongside our traditional school holiday enrichment programme; our food and fun programme that is delivered via a school setting. And I am pleased to say that, in the new financial year, we have earmarked £1 million funding for the playworks pilots, and we will be increasing the Welsh Government's budget for the food and fun SHEP to £2.7 million. That will allow us to provide 100 per cent of the cost of that programme, which in past years has been partly funded by Welsh Government and partly funded by local authorities. But we will be able to expand that programme and we believe that, potentially, it will reach some 7,600 children this summer.

Wel, Joyce, mae'r rhesymau pam fod teuluoedd a phlant yn dioddef o newyn gwyliau yn rhai sydd, mewn llawer o achosion, y tu hwnt i'n rheolaeth. Ond rwy'n credu ei bod yn hollol iawn fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cymryd camau gweithredu i leddfu canlyniadau penderfyniadau a wneir mewn mannau eraill. Roedd gan y cynllun peilot Gwaith Chwarae Newyn Gwyliau 92 o safleoedd chwarae mynediad agored a chwech o safleoedd y tu allan i'r ysgol i gyd. Fe wnaethant ddosbarthu tua 13,000 o brydau bwyd, sy'n dangos maint y rhaglen benodol honno.

Mae'n bwysig inni gofio mai rhan yn unig o'n hymdrechion i drechu a lliniaru problem newyn gwyliau yw hyn. Mae'n sefyll ochr yn ochr â'n rhaglen draddodiadol ar gyfer cyfoethogi gwyliau ysgol; ein rhaglen bwyd a hwyl sy'n cael ei darparu o fewn ysgolion. Ac rwy'n falch o ddweud ein bod, yn y flwyddyn ariannol newydd, wedi clustnodi cyllid o £1 filiwn ar gyfer y cynlluniau peilot gwaith chwarae a byddwn yn cynyddu cyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer Rhaglen Cyfoethogi Gwyliau Ysgol bwyd a hwyl i £2.7 miliwn. Bydd hynny'n caniatáu inni ddarparu 100 y cant o gost y rhaglen honno, sydd, yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf, wedi'i hariannu'n rhannol gan Lywodraeth Cymru ac yn rhannol gan awdurdodau lleol. Ond byddwn yn gallu ehangu'r rhaglen honno a chredwn y gallai gyrraedd tua 7,600 o blant yr haf hwn.

13:40

I welcome this pilot and I welcome the information that you've just given us that more children are likely to benefit from this. I recognise also that budgets are tight and, with the Tories in power in Westminster, there's little prospect of our situation improving for some years.

So, I wonder what consideration you've given to tapping into the vast excess of food that's generated by supermarkets on a daily basis. Could using that excess make this scheme cheaper? My office has been collecting and distributing food from a small number of supermarkets. It's perfectly good produce and it would have been destined for the bin, mainly due to its short shelf life. We don't have any qualification—there's no benefits eligibility to accessing this food—and as a result we've had more than 6,000 visits from people for free food, just over the last six months. So, can you consider utilising the waste from supermarkets to enable more children to be fed during school holiday times?

Rwy'n croesawu'r cynllun peilot hwn ac rwy'n croesawu'r wybodaeth rydych newydd ei rhoi inni fod mwy o blant yn debygol o elwa o hyn. Rwy’n cydnabod hefyd fod cyllidebau’n dynn a chyda’r Torïaid mewn grym yn San Steffan, nid oes fawr o obaith y bydd ein sefyllfa yn gwella am rai blynyddoedd.

Felly, tybed pa ystyriaeth rydych wedi'i rhoi i fanteisio ar y gormodedd enfawr o fwyd sy'n cael ei gynhyrchu gan archfarchnadoedd bob dydd? A allai defnyddio'r gormodedd hwn wneud y cynllun yn rhatach? Mae fy swyddfa wedi bod yn casglu a dosbarthu bwyd o nifer fach o archfarchnadoedd. Mae'n gynnyrch da a fyddai wedi cael ei daflu i’r bin, yn bennaf oherwydd ei oes silff fer. Nid oes gennym unrhyw gymhwyster—nid oes angen i bobl fod yn derbyn budd-daliadau i gael mynediad at y bwyd hwnac o ganlyniad, rydym wedi cael mwy na 6,000 o ymweliadau gan bobl sy’n chwilio am fwyd am ddim dros y chwe mis diwethaf. Felly, a allwch chi ystyried defnyddio'r gwastraff o archfarchnadoedd i alluogi mwy o blant i gael eu bwydo yn ystod gwyliau ysgol?

Thank you, Leanne, for that, and thank you for your own personal efforts. It is mirrored by efforts by politicians who sit in this Chamber, and outside this Chamber, in a range of political parties who look to take practical action in this regard. We don't actually run those programmes. We make the finance available for our partners in local government and our third sector organisations to be able to, on the ground, deliver.

But I'm more than happy for officials to ask our partners whether they could encourage and look at the proposal that you've just put forward. We're always looking for new partners to help ensure that not just the food on offer but also the range of activities—because that's an important part of the programme as well, the range of activities—on offer are meaningful, exciting and attractive to children. 

So, recently I met with the Welsh Rugby Union. The WRU are looking to do some summer provision and, rather than simply set that up as a solo programme, they are now in discussion with us about how we can put them in touch with local authorities so that they can work alongside our programme, rather than duplicating efforts.

So, we're always looking for new partners to work alongside local authorities and third sector organisations to make those experiences for children meaningful, not just in terms of nourishment, but also activities that can address issues around anti-social behaviour or loneliness and isolation or learning loss during the summer holidays.

Diolch i chi am hynny, Leanne, a diolch am eich ymdrechion. Mae gwleidyddion sy'n eistedd yn y Siambr hon yn ymdrechu i wneud yr un peth, a thu allan i'r Siambr hon, mewn amryw o bleidiau gwleidyddol sy'n ceisio rhoi camau ymarferol ar waith yn hyn o beth. Nid ni sy'n cynnal y rhaglenni hynny mewn gwirionedd. Rydym yn sicrhau bod y cyllid ar gael i'n partneriaid mewn llywodraeth leol a'n sefydliadau trydydd sector allu ei wneud ar lawr gwlad. 

Ond rwy'n fwy na pharod i'n swyddogion ofyn i'n partneriaid annog ac edrych ar y cynnig rydych newydd ei gyflwyno. Rydym bob amser yn chwilio am bartneriaid newydd i helpu i sicrhau bod y bwyd sy’n cael ei gynnig, yn ogystal â’r ystod o weithgareddau—oherwydd mae honno'n rhan bwysig o'r rhaglen hefyd, yr amrywiaeth o weithgareddau—sy'n cael eu cynnig yn ystyrlon, yn gyffrous ac yn ddeniadol i blant. 

Felly, yn ddiweddar, cyfarfûm ag Undeb Rygbi Cymru. Mae Undeb Rygbi Cymru yn ystyried sicrhau rhywfaint o ddarpariaeth yn ystod yr haf ac yn hytrach na sefydlu hynny fel rhaglen unigol, maent yn trafod gyda ni ynglŷn â sut y gallwn eu rhoi mewn cysylltiad ag awdurdodau lleol fel y gallant weithio ochr yn ochr â'n rhaglen, yn hytrach na dyblygu ymdrechion.

Felly, rydym bob amser yn chwilio am bartneriaid newydd i weithio ochr yn ochr ag awdurdodau lleol a sefydliadau'r trydydd sector i wneud y profiadau hynny i blant yn ystyrlon, nid yn unig o ran maeth, ond hefyd o ran gweithgareddau a all fynd i'r afael â materion yn ymwneud ag ymddygiad gwrthgymdeithasol, unigrwydd ac arwahanrwydd, neu golli dysgu yn ystod gwyliau'r haf.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Suzy Davies.

Questions now from party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson, Suzy Davies.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, I have to say I was very pleased when you amended the guidance, to be followed by local authorities primarily, requiring them to take additional steps before they made a decision on closing small, rural schools. And while that didn't capture all small schools, it was a statement of recognition of the place in the community of small, rural schools and their contribution to standards, and of course the negative consequences of having young children being ferried across large distances, and in some cases of course the negative effect on Welsh as a community language.

But small schools are more expensive, per head, to run, and to assist with this you've offered, from the centre, a yearly grant of £2.5 million to be allocated annually from April 2017 to support greater school-to-school working in rural areas. It's an annual grant, but I wonder if you can tell me where I might find it in the draft budget for 2020-21, and what use it's been put to since its introduction.

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, mae'n rhaid i mi ddweud fy mod yn falch iawn pan wnaethoch chi ddiwygio'r canllawiau, sydd i'w dilyn gan awdurdodau lleol yn bennaf, gan ei gwneud yn ofynnol iddynt roi camau ychwanegol ar waith cyn gwneud penderfyniad ar gau ysgolion bach, gwledig. Ac er nad oedd hynny'n cynnwys pob ysgol fach, roedd yn ddatganiad o gydnabyddiaeth i le ysgolion bach, gwledig yn y gymuned a'u cyfraniad i safonau, ac wrth gwrs, y canlyniadau negyddol o gludo plant ifanc dros bellteroedd mawr, ac mewn rhai achosion, wrth gwrs, yr effaith negyddol ar y Gymraeg fel iaith gymunedol.

Ond mae ysgolion bach yn ddrutach i'w cynnal y pen, ac i gynorthwyo gyda hyn, ers mis Ebrill 2017 rydych wedi cynnig dyrannu grant o £2.5 miliwn o'r canol bob blwyddyn i gefnogi mwy o waith rhwng ysgolion mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Mae'n grant blynyddol, ond tybed a allwch chi ddweud wrthyf lle gallwn ddod o hyd iddo yn y gyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer 2020-21, a pha ddefnydd sydd wedi'i wneud ohono ers iddo gael ei gyflwyno.

Can I thank the Member for the recognition of the important role that small schools play in our education system? On coming into office, I made a pledge to reform the school organisation code to include a presumption against closure, and I am very pleased that we have been able to do that. 

The Member is right, we have a small and rural schools grant, which is there to support the education of children in small and rural schools and to ensure that it is as good as it should be. There are some particular challenges to delivering small and rural schools: teachers being asked to teach over a wide range of age groups, for instance, and the ability to differentiate, as well as headteachers who are managing classroom teaching responsibilities as well as managerial responsibilities.

The amount of money available in the new financial year for the small and rural schools grant continues at the same level and will be available. Local authorities bid for that money and they have used it in a variety of ways to support planning, preparation and assessment time for headteachers and the employment of additional support within those schools, or, in one particular case I'm aware of, being able to make sure that that school is part of a wider pedagogical sharing network to ensure that teaching is as good as it could be when, sometimes, schools don't have specific expertise in an individual subject. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i'r Aelod am gydnabod y rôl bwysig y mae ysgolion bach yn ei chwarae yn ein system addysg? Pan ddeuthum i’r swydd, gwneuthum addewid i ddiwygio’r cod trefniadaeth ysgolion i gynnwys rhagdybiaeth yn erbyn cau, ac rwy’n falch iawn ein bod wedi gallu gwneud hynny.  

Mae'r Aelod yn iawn fod gennym grant ysgolion bach a gwledig, sydd yno i gefnogi addysg plant mewn ysgolion bach a gwledig, i sicrhau ei bod gystal ag y dylai fod. Mae yna rai heriau penodol i ddarparu ysgolion bach a gwledig: y ffaith bod gofyn i athrawon addysgu ystod eang o grwpiau oedran, er enghraifft, a'r gallu i wahaniaethu, yn ogystal â phenaethiaid sy'n ymdopi â cyfrifoldebau addysgu yn yr ystafell ddosbarth yn ogystal â chyfrifoldebau rheolaethol.

Mae'r swm o arian sydd ar gael yn y flwyddyn ariannol newydd ar gyfer y grantiau ysgolion bach a gwledig yn parhau ar yr un lefel a bydd hwnnw ar gael. Mae awdurdodau lleol yn gwneud cais am yr arian hwnnw ac maent wedi’i ddefnyddio mewn amryw o ffyrdd i gefnogi amser cynllunio, paratoi ac asesu ar gyfer penaethiaid a chyflogi cymorth ychwanegol yn yr ysgolion hynny, neu, mewn un achos penodol rwy'n ymwybodol ohono, gallu sicrhau bod yr ysgol honno'n rhan o rwydwaith rhannu addysgeg ehangach i wneud yn siŵr bod yr addysgu cystal ag y gallai fod pan nad oes gan ysgolion arbenigedd penodol, weithiau, mewn pwnc unigol. 

13:45

Thank you very much for that answer. Obviously, I'm extremely pleased to hear that it is in the budget somewhere and that the use it's being put to is the use for which it was intended. Although local authorities, as we know, are largely responsible for school funding, schools are undoubtedly affected by decisions you make on the education budget. Over the course of this Assembly, you're making available £36 million to reduce infant class sizes, targeted at those most adversely affected by deprivation, but, within its clear limits, it's open, I think, to quite a lot of schools—many schools. Have you any indication of how many rural schools are in receipt of the money to reduce infant class sizes?

Diolch yn fawr am yr ateb hwnnw. Yn amlwg, rwy'n hynod falch o glywed ei fod yn y gyllideb yn rhywle a’i fod yn cael ei ddefnyddio fel y bwriadwyd iddo gael ei ddefnyddio. Er mai awdurdodau lleol, fel y gwyddom, sy'n bennaf gyfrifol am gyllid ysgolion, mae ysgolion, heb os, yn cael eu heffeithio gan y penderfyniadau a wnewch ar y gyllideb addysg. Yn ystod y Cynulliad hwn, rydych yn sicrhau bod £36 miliwn ar gael i leihau maint dosbarthiadau babanod, wedi'i dargedu at y rhai yr effeithir arnynt fwyaf gan amddifadedd, ond o fewn ei derfynau clir, mae'n agored, rwy'n credu, i gryn dipyn o ysgolion—nifer o ysgolion. A oes gennych unrhyw syniad faint o ysgolion gwledig sy'n cael yr arian i leihau maint dosbarthiadau babanod?

The £36 million that has been made available over the course of this Parliament to support smaller class sizes is made up of both a revenue and a capital element. The Member is right: one of the criteria for a successful application is a high percentage of children who are entitled to free school meals. But, we also support schools where, perhaps, standards are not what they need to be and they need to improve, and we also look at schools where there is a high percentage of children for whom Welsh or English is not their first language. We choose those categories because we know that that's where the money will make a difference.

The bids come in from local authorities. So, the local authorities themselves prioritise which schools they wish to support—they are a variety of schools across all of our local authorities—and I'm happy to provide the Member with a list of every school that has been in receipt of both the revenue and the capital element. 

Mae'r £36 miliwn sydd ar gael yn ystod y Senedd hon i gefnogi dosbarthiadau llai yn cynnwys elfen refeniw ac elfen gyfalaf. Mae'r Aelod yn iawn: un o'r meini prawf ar gyfer cais llwyddiannus yw canran uchel o blant sydd â hawl i brydau ysgol am ddim. Ond rydym hefyd yn cefnogi ysgolion lle nad yw'r safonau, o bosibl, mor dda ag y mae angen iddynt fod ac mae angen iddynt gwella, ac rydym hefyd yn edrych ar ysgolion lle nad yw canran uchel o'r plant yn siarad Cymraeg neu Saesneg fel iaith gyntaf. Rydym yn dewis y meini prawf hynny oherwydd gwyddom mai dyna lle bydd yr arian yn gwneud gwahaniaeth.

Awdurdodau lleol sy’n gwneud ceisiadau. Felly, mae'r awdurdodau lleol eu hunain yn blaenoriaethu pa ysgolion y maent eisiau eu cefnogi—maent yn amrywiaeth o ysgolion ar draws pob un o’n hawdurdodau lleol—ac rwy'n hapus i ddarparu rhestr i'r Aelod o bob ysgol sydd wedi cael yr elfen refeniw a’r elfen gyfalaf. 

Thank you for that answer. I understood that the targeting was at areas of deprivation, but it seemed that, in the way that it's been crafted, it was able to have a slightly wider remit than, perhaps, the pupil deprivation grant.

This £36 million, though—you'll have seen it in the press this week—has already prompted some questions about its value for money in terms of its outcomes. You've also heard that schools are worried that maintaining the levels of employment of all of these new staff, and actually populating the new rooms that this £36 million may have bought, may be pretty difficult when this class-size funding commitment comes to an end.

Some of those schools that have used this money will also be eligible for a considerable amount of pupil development grant income, but, of course, not all of them. So, firstly, can you tell me whether you're expecting the extra PDG that you've announced for infant-age children just this week to pick up the cost of this activity from 2020-21, which would soak up any rise in that budget line?

Secondly, what do you say to rural schools that may have made that investment in staff and buildings to reduce infant class sizes, but don't have access to high levels of PDG, which also supports the sustainability of schools in terms of staffing numbers, whose provision of SEN support, which goes back to my first question today, is doubly difficult due to sparsity and therefore, they can't tackle the effects of poverty in the way that they would like and, presumably, in the way that you would like?

Some schools in my region really do quite well through the central education budget, but my rural schools do not. And I can only imagine what this looks like in your own overwhelmingly rural constituency. 

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw. Roeddwn yn deall bod yr arian yn cael ei dargedu at ardaloedd o amddifadedd, ond roedd yn ymddangos, yn y ffordd y cafodd ei lunio, y gallai o bosibl fod wedi mabwysiadu cwmpas ychydig yn ehangach na'r grant amddifadedd disgyblion.

Mae'r £36 miliwn hwn, serch hynny—byddwch wedi'i weld yn y wasg yr wythnos hon—eisoes wedi ysgogi rhai cwestiynau am ei werth am arian o ran ei ganlyniadau. Rydych wedi clywed hefyd fod ysgolion yn poeni y gallai cynnal lefelau cyflogaeth yr holl aelodau staff newydd hyn, a phoblogi'r ystafelloedd newydd y gallai'r £36 miliwn fod wedi'u prynu, fod yn eithaf anodd pan ddaw'r ymrwymiad i gyllido maint dosbarthiadau i ben.

Bydd rhai o'r ysgolion sydd wedi defnyddio'r arian hwn hefyd yn gymwys i gael cryn dipyn o incwm grant datblygu disgyblion, ond wrth gwrs, nid pob un ohonynt. Felly, yn gyntaf, a allwch chi ddweud wrthyf a ydych yn disgwyl i'r grant datblygu disgyblion ychwanegol a gyhoeddwyd gennych ar gyfer babanod yr wythnos hon dalu am gost y gweithgaredd hwn o 2020-21 ymlaen, gan amsugno unrhyw gynnydd yn y llinell wariant honno?

Yn ail, beth rydych yn ei ddweud wrth ysgolion gwledig a allai fod wedi gwneud y buddsoddiad hwnnw mewn staff ac adeiladau i leihau maint dosbarthiadau babanod, ond nad oes ganddynt fynediad at lefelau uchel o grant datblygu disgyblion, sydd hefyd yn cefnogi cynaliadwyedd ysgolion o ran niferoedd staff, ysgolion y mae eu darpariaeth o gymorth AAA, sy'n mynd yn ôl at fy nghwestiwn cyntaf heddiw, ddwywaith mor anodd oherwydd teneurwydd y boblogaeth ac felly nid ydynt yn gallu mynd i'r afael ag effeithiau tlodi yn y ffordd y byddent yn hoffi ac yn ôl pob tebyg, yn y ffordd y byddech chi’n hoffi?

Mae rhai ysgolion yn fy rhanbarth yn gwneud yn eithaf da drwy'r gyllideb addysg ganolog, ond nid fy ysgolion gwledig. Ni allaf ond dychmygu beth yw’r sefyllfa yn eich etholaeth hynod wledig chi.

Well, in my own constituency, I'm absolutely delighted that the cutting-class-sizes grant is providing for an additional classroom teacher at Trefonnen primary school in Llandrindod Wells, and it is providing a dedicated Welsh-medium early years centre in the Ystradgynlais and Swansea valley area. So, I'm very delighted, in my own constituency, with the impact that it is making.

But, let's be clear, in this academic year, some 95 extra teachers will be employed as a result of that grant; some 40 additional teaching assistants will be employed as a result of that grant; and, with regard to its sustainability, that grant will exist as long as I am the education Minister and through to the end of this Parliament. As for a future Parliament, I would hope that the evidence that has been received from parents and teachers of how valuable this grant is will inform a future Government of its important continuation.

Wel, yn fy etholaeth i, rwy'n falch iawn fod y grant lleihau maint dosbarthiadau yn darparu athro dosbarth ychwanegol yn ysgol gynradd Trefonnen yn Llandrindod ac yn darparu canolfan blynyddoedd cynnar cyfrwng Cymraeg yn ardal Ystradgynlais a chwm Tawe. Felly, rwyf wrth fy modd gyda'r effaith y mae'n ei chael yn fy etholaeth i.

Ond gadewch i ni fod yn glir, yn y flwyddyn academaidd hon, bydd tua 95 o athrawon ychwanegol yn cael eu cyflogi o ganlyniad i'r grant hwnnw; bydd tua 40 o gynorthwywyr addysgu ychwanegol yn cael eu cyflogi o ganlyniad i'r grant hwnnw; ac o ran ei gynaliadwyedd, bydd y grant yn bodoli tra byddaf yn Weinidog addysg a hyd at ddiwedd y Senedd hon. O ran Senedd yn y dyfodol, buaswn yn gobeithio y bydd y dystiolaeth a ddaeth i law gan rieni ac athrawon ynglŷn â pha mor werthfawr yw'r grant yn dangos i Lywodraeth yn y dyfodol pa mor bwysig fydd ei barhau.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Bethan Sayed.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Bethan Sayed.

Diolch. As far as I'm aware, this is my last session scrutinising before I go on maternity leave, all being well, so whoever's taking over from me, I wish them all the very best. Erasmus is the core of our students' opportunities to study abroad and without it, as we said yesterday, thousands of students would not have the opportunity to have travelled and to have experienced that abroad. It surprises me that the Tories, who claim to be aspirational, would even consider or hint at the possibility of taking us out of Erasmus next year. If the UK Government doesn't participate in the successor programme or complete negotiations on education partnerships quickly enough with the EU, our participation could be compromised and thousands of students, especially from lower income backgrounds, as Lynne Neagle said yesterday, will be denied any of those life chances.

Does it concern you as Minister that, in rejecting the amendment to continue to take part in Erasmus+ successor programmes last week in the House of Commons, and the UK Government seemingly not so sure what they're going to do with the future negotiations in this regard, that this is the UK Parliament—UK Government, sorry—playing ideological politics with the future of higher education? Would it not lead to more uncertainty for universities and colleges here in Wales after years of uncertainty anyway with Brexit hanging over us? 

Diolch. Hyd y gwn, dyma fy sesiwn graffu olaf cyn i mi fynd ar gyfnod mamolaeth, os aiff popeth yn iawn, felly hoffwn ddymuno’r gorau i bwy bynnag a ddaw yn fy lle. Erasmus yw craidd cyfleoedd ein myfyrwyr i astudio dramor a hebddo, fel y dywedasom ddoe, ni fyddai miloedd o fyfyrwyr yn cael cyfle i deithio a phrofi bywyd dramor. Mae'n fy synnu y byddai'r Torïaid, sy'n honni eu bod yn uchelgeisiol, hyd yn oed yn ystyried neu'n awgrymu’r posibilrwydd o adael Erasmus y flwyddyn nesaf. Os na fydd Llywodraeth y DU yn cymryd rhan yn y rhaglen olynol neu'n cwblhau trafodaethau ar bartneriaethau addysg yn ddigon cyflym gyda’r UE, gallai ein cyfranogiad fod yn y fantol a bydd miloedd o fyfyrwyr, yn enwedig rhai o gefndiroedd incwm is, fel y dywedodd Lynne Neagle ddoe, yn colli’r cyfleoedd bywyd hynny.

Yn sgil y ffaith nad yw'n ymddangos bod Llywodraeth y DU yn siŵr iawn beth i'w wneud â’r trafodaethau yn y dyfodol yn hyn o beth, a yw'n peri pryder i chi fel Gweinidog fod Senedd y DU—Llywodraeth y DU, mae'n ddrwg gennyf—wrth wrthod y gwelliant i barhau i gymryd rhan yn rhaglenni olynol Erasmus+ yr wythnos diwethaf yn Nhŷ'r Cyffredin, yn chwarae gwleidyddiaeth ideolegol gyda dyfodol addysg uwch? Oni fyddai’n arwain at fwy o ansicrwydd i brifysgolion a cholegau yma yng Nghymru ar ôl blynyddoedd o ansicrwydd beth bynnag o dan gysgod Brexit? 

13:50

Presiding Officer, I'm sure I speak on behalf of all of the Chamber in expressing my best wishes for Bethan as she begins a period of maternity leave. If I could offer just a little advice in this regard, don't be in too much of a rush to get back. [Laughter.] And I say that for purely, purely unselfish reasons. Bethan, you are about to embark on the toughest job that you will ever do, and in some ways, coming back to this Chamber will be a rest, I can assure you. [Laughter.] But I just want to wish you and your husband all the best on this wonderful, wonderful journey that you are about to embark on. 

It's so timely that Bethan raises this question this afternoon, because I understand, Presiding Officer, in the gallery above us today are a number of participants from an Erasmus programme—teachers who, as part of that programme, are able to work internationally to develop skills and understanding and to strengthen each other's education system. That valuable work is in danger of being lost if we don't get decisions around continued participation in the Erasmus+ programme right.

As we rehearsed in the Chamber yesterday, there is no reason why leaving the European Union is incompatible with our ongoing continuation as full partners in that particular programme, across the entire range of that programme, which supports educational exchanges for practitioners, for those in higher education, for those in further education, for our schools and for those in our youth clubs and our youth services. Wales has disproportionately benefited and has been highly successful in drawing on those Erasmus+ funds to expand the life opportunities for a whole range of children and young people and professionals, and that, potentially, is at risk.

Now, it is true to say that the vote this week does not preclude us from an ongoing negotiation, and I have used every opportunity that I have had and will continue to have to persuade Chris Skidmore and, in particular, the Treasury, of the real value of that money. And sometimes, politicians and civil servants need to be reminded that we can know the cost of everything and sometimes miss the value of some things, and Erasmus+ is an example of where the value that is appreciated is so much more than the financial sums that are invested.   

Lywydd, rwy'n siŵr fy mod yn siarad ar ran pawb yn y Siambr wrth fynegi fy nymuniadau gorau i Bethan wrth iddi ddechrau ar ei chyfnod mamolaeth. Os caf fi gynnig rhywfaint o gyngor yn hyn o beth, peidiwch â bod ar ormod o frys i ddod yn ôl. [Chwerthin.] Ac rwy’n dweud hynny am resymau cwbl anhunanol. Bethan, rydych ar fin cychwyn ar y gwaith anoddaf y byddwch chi byth yn ei wneud, ac mewn rhai ffyrdd bydd dod yn ôl i'r Siambr hon yn orffwys, gallaf eich sicrhau o hynny. [Chwerthin.] Ond hoffwn ddymuno'r gorau i chi a'ch gŵr ar y daith ryfeddol rydych ar fin cychwyn arni. 

Mae Bethan yn codi cwestiwn amserol iawn y prynhawn yma, oherwydd rwy'n deall, Lywydd, fod nifer o gyfranogwyr o raglen Erasmus yn yr oriel uwch ein pennau heddiw—athrawon sydd, fel rhan o'r rhaglen honno, yn gallu gweithio'n rhyngwladol i ddatblygu sgiliau a dealltwriaeth a chryfhau systemau addysg ei gilydd. Mae'r gwaith gwerthfawr hwnnw mewn perygl o gael ei golli os nad ydym yn sicrhau bod y penderfyniadau cywir yn cael eu gwneud mewn perthynas â chyfranogiad parhaus yn rhaglen Erasmus+.

Fel y dywedasom yn y Siambr ddoe, nid oes unrhyw reswm pam y dylai gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd fod yn anghydnaws â’n gallu i barhau i fod yn bartneriaid llawn yn y rhaglen honno, ar draws ystod gyfan y rhaglen, sy'n cefnogi teithiau cyfnewid addysgol i ymarferwyr, i'r rheini mewn addysg uwch, i'r rheini mewn addysg bellach, i'n hysgolion ac i'r rheini yn ein clybiau ieuenctid a'n gwasanaethau ieuenctid. Mae Cymru wedi elwa’n anghymesur ac wedi bod yn hynod lwyddiannus wrth fanteisio ar gronfeydd Erasmus+ i ehangu cyfleoedd bywyd i ystod gyfan o blant a phobl ifanc a gweithwyr proffesiynol, a gallai hynny fod mewn perygl.

Nawr, mae'n wir nad yw'r bleidlais yr wythnos hon yn ein hatal rhag cynnal trafodaethau parhaus, ac rwyf wedi defnyddio pob cyfle a gefais a byddaf yn parhau i orfod perswadio Chris Skidmore, a'r Trysorlys yn arbennig, o wir werth yr arian hwnnw. Ac weithiau, mae angen atgoffa gwleidyddion a gweision sifil y gallwn wybod cost popeth heb sylwi ar werth rhai pethau weithiau, ac mae Erasmus+ yn enghraifft o rywbeth sy'n werth cymaint yn fwy na'r symiau ariannol a fuddsoddir. 

Thank you. Just to pick up on your first point about maternity leave, I'm sure that there will be lots of people who are pleased that I won't be rushing back. [Laughter.] 

In terms of worst-case scenarios, I asked the First Minister yesterday, which you were here for, in terms of contingencies that can be made, specifically in terms of the possibility of further education and higher education institutions here working directly with European institutions. And so, can you tell me what discussions you've had with EU partners about doing that? I understand that we're not able to go into specific bilateral agreements between the UK and EU on education exchanges, but I suppose we could be looking at our own relationship building with higher education institutions across Europe, as I'm sure we are already doing, but having to do that in a bit more of a pressurised situation to ensure that an Erasmus+ programme would be able to continue. So, can you just give me an idea about what you're doing in that regard, and what contingency planning is in train?

Diolch. I fynd ar ôl eich pwynt cyntaf am gyfnod mamolaeth, rwy'n siŵr y bydd llawer o bobl yn falch na fyddaf yn rhuthro yn ôl. [Chwerthin.

O ran senarios gwaethaf, gofynnais i'r Prif Weinidog ddoe, ac roeddech chi yma ar y pryd, ynglŷn â chynlluniau wrth gefn y gellir eu gwneud, yn benodol o ran y posibilrwydd o sefydliadau addysg bellach ac addysg uwch yma yn gweithio'n uniongyrchol gyda sefydliadau Ewropeaidd. Ac felly, a allwch ddweud wrthyf pa drafodaethau a gawsoch gyda phartneriaid yn yr UE ynglŷn â gwneud hynny? Rwy'n deall nad ydym yn gallu ymrwymo i gytundebau dwyochrog penodol rhwng y DU a'r UE ar deithiau cyfnewid addysgol, ond mae'n debyg y gallem edrych ar feithrin ein perthynas ein hunain â sefydliadau addysg uwch ledled Ewrop, fel rydym eisoes yn ei wneud rwy'n siŵr, ond rydym bellach o dan rywfaint o bwysau i sicrhau y byddai rhaglen Erasmus+ yn gallu parhau. Felly, a allwch roi syniad i mi o’r hyn rydych yn ei wneud yn hynny o beth, a pha gynlluniau wrth gefn sydd ar y gweill?

13:55

The Welsh Government and I have a hierarchy of preferences. Our preference is to continue to be able to participate on a UK basis in the full programme of Erasmus+. That is our preferred option, because we believe that there is strength in that brand, it is well understood, and it is aligned to the strategic goals that we would have as a Government. I am aware that the Westminster Government in English counterparts are potentially looking at a UK-wide scheme. That, I believe, is second best as it does not have—as I said—the recognition and the track record of the existing Erasmus scheme. I have had discussions with my Scottish counterpart and representatives of the civil service in Ireland to look at a Celtic scheme if there was no UK scheme available or the English Government was not willing to invest in this particular area. So, we're looking at that as well as having individual institutional conversations where our institutions in Wales are looking to secure partnerships with institutions across Europe. So, as you can see, there's a hierarchy.

My real fear, from discussions that I have had, is that there could well be a replacement scheme on the education side, but I am very, very fearful for FE in particular and youth services in particular and about whether there are any guarantees or any likelihood of a UK Government seeing the value in that. So, I'm less concerned about universities, but I'm very concerned about the wider entirety of the programme. 

Mae gan Lywodraeth Cymru a minnau hierarchaeth o ddewisiadau. Ein dewis cyntaf yw parhau i allu cymryd rhan yn y rhaglen Erasmus+ lawn ar sail y DU. Dyna ein dewis cyntaf oherwydd credwn fod cryfder i'r brand hwnnw, mae'n ddealladwy, ac mae'n cyd-fynd â'r nodau strategol a fyddai gennym fel Llywodraeth. Rwy'n ymwybodol fod Llywodraeth San Steffan a swyddogion cyfatebol yn Lloegr yn edrych ar gynllun DU gyfan o bosibl. Mae hwnnw, rwy’n credu, yn ail ddewis gan nad oes iddo’r un gydnabyddiaeth a hanes—fel y dywedais—â’r cynllun Erasmus presennol. Rwyf wedi cael trafodaethau gyda fy swyddog cyfatebol yn yr Alban a chynrychiolwyr y gwasanaeth sifil yn Iwerddon i edrych ar gynllun Celtaidd os nad oedd cynllun DU ar gael neu os nad oedd Llywodraeth Lloegr yn fodlon buddsoddi yn y maes penodol hwn. Felly, rydym yn edrych ar hynny yn ogystal â chael sgyrsiau sefydliadol unigol lle mae ein sefydliadau yng Nghymru yn ceisio sicrhau partneriaethau â sefydliadau ledled Ewrop. Felly, fel y gallwch weld, mae yna hierarchaeth.

Yr hyn rwy’n ei ofni fwyaf, yn dilyn y trafodaethau rwyf wedi’u cael, yw y gallai'n hawdd fod cynllun newydd i gymryd ei le ar yr ochr addysg, ond rwy'n ofnus iawn mewn perthynas ag addysg bellach yn enwedig, a gwasanaethau ieuenctid yn enwedig, ac ynglŷn ag a oes unrhyw warantau neu unrhyw debygolrwydd y bydd Llywodraeth y DU yn gweld gwerth yn hynny. Felly, rwy'n poeni llai am brifysgolion, ond rwy'n bryderus iawn am y rhaglen yn ehangach.

Thank you very much for that. That's clear. The issue of Erasmus throws up some other questions in my mind, where we might not agree so much, I think—but I haven't said it yet—related to the wider health of the HE sector. Media reports over the weekend were clear that HE faces some very big challenges. The Vice Chancellor of Cardiff Met said—and I quote—that the talk of the sector was now, 'How big is your deficit?', not if there is a deficit.

I understand that some costs, such as those related to pensions have caused deficits to look larger this year, but it's clear that most institutions are operating in the red and there is also a continuing decline in the number of accepted applicants in Wales and a fall of 17,000 overall applications since 2016. Now, I'm sure you're well aware of the wider economic impact of Welsh universities, and we have rehearsed some of those arguments here over the past few months. It concerns us in Plaid Cymru that half of all Welsh students chose to leave the country to go elsewhere to university. We're not saying that they shouldn't go, but we are concerned that over half decided to go, and we do see that the brain drain from Wales that has happened over decades has not been tackled over previous Governments here in Wales.

So, my question to you, my final question, is: what are you doing differently to ensure that we can turn that around and encourage many more people to stay and to have their education in Wales? And I will say, just to end, it's not about not encouraging people to go elsewhere to study, but we have to acknowledge, for a successful and vibrant HE sector here in Wales, we have to look at how we can retain some of those students here in Wales because that is part and parcel of the issue at the moment.

Diolch yn fawr am hynny. Mae hynny'n glir. Mae mater Erasmus yn codi rhai cwestiynau eraill yn fy meddwl, lle na fyddem, efallai, yn cytuno i’r un graddau, rwy'n credu—ond nid wyf wedi’i grybwyll eto—yn ymwneud ag iechyd ehangach y sector addysg uwch. Roedd adroddiadau ar y cyfryngau dros y penwythnos yn dweud yn glir fod addysg uwch yn wynebu heriau mawr iawn. Dywedodd Is-Ganghellor Prifysgol Metropolitan Caerdydd—ac rwy’n dyfynnu—mai’r sgwrs o fewn y sector yn awr yw, ‘Pa mor fawr yw eich diffyg?’, nid a oes diffyg neu beidio.

Rwy'n deall bod rhai costau, fel y rhai sy'n gysylltiedig â phensiynau, wedi achosi i ddiffygion edrych yn fwy eleni, ond mae'n amlwg fod y mwyafrif o sefydliadau yn gweithredu yn y coch a bod gostyngiad parhaus hefyd yn nifer yr ymgeiswyr a dderbynnir yng Nghymru a chwymp o 17,000 yng nghyfanswm y ceisiadau ers 2016. Nawr, rwy'n siŵr eich bod yn ymwybodol iawn o effaith economaidd ehangach prifysgolion Cymru, ac rydym wedi gwyntyllu rhai o'r dadleuon hynny yma dros yr ychydig fisoedd diwethaf. Mae'n peri pryder i ni ym Mhlaid Cymru fod hanner myfyrwyr Cymru wedi dewis gadael y wlad a mynd i astudio mewn prifysgol yn rhywle arall. Nid ydym yn dweud na ddylent fynd, ond rydym yn pryderu bod dros eu hanner wedi penderfynu mynd, ac rydym yn gweld na chafodd y draen dawn o Gymru a fu'n digwydd dros ddegawdau mo'i atal gan Lywodraethau blaenorol yma yng Nghymru.

Felly, fy nghwestiwn i chi, fy nghwestiwn olaf, yw hwn: beth rydych yn ei wneud yn wahanol i sicrhau y gallwn newid y sefyllfa ac annog llawer mwy o bobl i aros ac i gael eu haddysg yng Nghymru? A hoffwn ddweud, i gloi, nid yw'n ymwneud â pheidio ag annog pobl i fynd i rywle arall i astudio, ond er mwyn sicrhau bod gennym sector addysg uwch llwyddiannus a bywiog yma yng Nghymru, mae'n rhaid inni gydnabod yr angen i edrych ar sut y gallwn gadw rhai o’r myfyrwyr hynny yma yng Nghymru oherwydd mae hynny'n rhan annatod o'r broblem ar hyn o bryd.

Well, curriculum, marketing, recruitment and retention of students is a matter for individual institutions and not a matter for the Government. We have delivered, during this Parliament, the fairest, most progressive and sustainable support system, I would argue, anywhere in the United Kingdom, which treats Welsh students very well. But also, I recognise that universities are major employers and vital to our local economy and many of our communities, and that's why we've moved to a more sustainable system of funding and why we will see Higher Education Funding Council for Wales's budget increase in 2020-21 considerably as we deliver on our Diamond reforms. But the courses that individual universities offer and their ability to market and recruit to those courses is rightly a matter for them.

Wel, materion i sefydliadau unigol yw cwricwlwm, marchnata, recriwtio a chadw myfyrwyr ac nid mater i'r Llywodraeth. Yn ystod y Senedd hon, buaswn yn dadlau ein bod wedi cyflwyno’r system gymorth decaf, fwyaf blaengar a chynaliadwy yn y Deyrnas Unedig, system sy'n trin myfyrwyr Cymru yn dda iawn. Ond hefyd, rwy’n cydnabod bod prifysgolion yn gyflogwyr mawr a’u bod yn hanfodol i’n heconomi leol a llawer o’n cymunedau, a dyna pam rydym wedi symud i system ariannu fwy cynaliadwy a pham y byddwn yn gweld cyllideb Cyngor Cyllido Addysg Uwch Cymru yn cynyddu’n sylweddol yn 2020-21 wrth inni gyflawni ein diwygiadau Diamond. Ond mater i'r prifysgolion unigol yw'r cyrsiau y maent yn eu cynnig a'u gallu i farchnata a recriwtio myfyrwyr i'r cyrsiau hynny.

Awtistiaeth mewn Ysgolion
Autism within Schools

3. A wnaiff y Gweinidog amlinellu sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn codi ymwybyddiaeth o awtistiaeth mewn ysgolion? OAQ54924

3. Will the Minister outline how the Welsh Government is raising awareness of autism within schools? OAQ54924

Thank you, Jayne. I'm committed to ensuring that autistic pupils in schools are effectively supported to overcome any barriers to learning that they may have. Our ambitious additional learning needs reforms will completely overhaul the existing system for supporting learners, and will drive improvements and raise awareness of ALN to ensure all learners achieve their full potential.

Diolch, Jayne. Rwyf wedi ymrwymo i sicrhau bod disgyblion awtistig mewn ysgolion yn cael eu cynorthwyo'n effeithiol i oresgyn unrhyw rwystrau i ddysgu a allai fod ganddynt. Bydd ein diwygiadau anghenion dysgu ychwanegol uchelgeisiol yn ailwampio'r system bresennol ar gyfer cefnogi dysgwyr yn llwyr, a byddant yn sbarduno gwelliannau ac yn codi ymwybyddiaeth o ADY i sicrhau bod pob dysgwr yn cyflawni ei botensial llawn.

Thank you for that answer, Minister. There are around 700,000 adults and children on the autism spectrum in the UK, and if you include their families, autism is part of the daily life of 2.8 million people, yet it's still often misunderstood.

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the latest measure that is happening in Gwent to raise awareness and to introduce the Minister and the Chamber to Moli, The Cow Who Moo She Was Different. Moli is autistic and her story is a wonderful new addition to primary schools and libraries across the region. The book aims to highlight the importance of embracing difference and how everyone has their own individual strengths. Launched at Newport's Serennu centre, Moli's story was developed by young people with autism and came about after Newport councillor Paul Cockeram was inspired by The Elephant Who Forgot, a book created by parents to raise awareness of dementia. This is the third book of its kind, with another two in the pipeline. The books are funded through ICF. These soft approaches to teaching children about what are often difficult subjects are simple and beautifully insightful. They're proving to be effective in addressing stigma, and I ask that the Minister look closely at these projects and see how these books could be rolled out so that, eventually, Moli's story can be one that all Welsh children would recognise.

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Mae tua 700,000 o oedolion a phlant ar y sbectrwm awtistiaeth yn y DU, ac os ydych yn cynnwys eu teuluoedd, mae awtistiaeth yn rhan o fywyd bob dydd 2.8 miliwn o bobl, ac eto mae'n dal i gael ei gamddeall yn aml.

Roeddwn eisiau manteisio ar y cyfle hwn i dynnu sylw at y camau diweddaraf sydd ar waith yng Ngwent i godi ymwybyddiaeth ac i gyflwyno Moli i'r Gweinidog a'r Siambr: Moli, The Cow Who Moo She Was Different. Mae Moli yn awtistig ac mae ei stori yn ychwanegiad newydd gwych i ysgolion cynradd a llyfrgelloedd ar draws y rhanbarth. Nod y llyfr yw tynnu sylw at bwysigrwydd croesawu gwahaniaeth a sut y mae gan bawb eu cryfderau unigol eu hunain. Cafodd stori Moli ei lansio yng nghanolfan Serennu Casnewydd, ac fe'i datblygwyd gan bobl ifanc ag awtistiaeth. Daeth i fodolaeth ar ôl i gynghorydd o Gasnewydd, Paul Cockeram, gael ei ysbrydoli gan The Elephant Who Forgot, llyfr a grëwyd gan rieni i godi ymwybyddiaeth o ddementia. Dyma'r trydydd llyfr o'i fath, gyda dau arall ar y gweill. Caiff y llyfrau eu hariannu drwy'r Gronfa Gofal Integredig. Mae'r dulliau meddal hyn o addysgu plant am yr hyn sy'n aml yn bynciau anodd, yn syml ac yn hynod o dreiddgar. Maent yn effeithiol o ran mynd i'r afael â stigma, a gofynnaf i'r Gweinidog edrych yn fanwl ar y prosiectau hyn a gweld sut y gellid cyflwyno'r llyfrau hyn er mwyn i stori Moli fod yn un y byddai holl blant Cymru yn ei hadnabod yn y pen draw.

14:00

Well, thank you, Jayne, and thank you for bringing to the attention of the entire Chamber the availability of that resource, and, hopefully, I can have a closer look at it after questions finish. We are working to improve knowledge and awareness of autism amongst not just children, but also all of our professional groups, including those working in education, health and local authority services, as part of our ALN transformation programme. That's included the publication of a guide for practitioners. That guide details effective interventions for learners with autism in education settings. And we are continuing to roll out and develop our learning with autism scheme, with programmes aimed at early years, primary, secondary and FE. That does include the publication and the working up of bilingual resource packages for all of those settings, so that enables us, as I said, to help raise awareness, and I'm sure the book that you've highlighted and Moli the cow will be a useful addition to those resources that schools need to be able to address these important differences that exist within a classroom.

Wel, diolch, Jayne, a diolch am ddwyn sylw'r Siambr gyfan at argaeledd yr adnodd hwnnw, a gobeithiaf allu cael gwell golwg arno ar ôl i’r cwestiynau ddod i ben. Rydym yn gweithio i wella gwybodaeth ac ymwybyddiaeth o awtistiaeth nid yn unig ymhlith plant, ond hefyd ymhlith ein holl grwpiau proffesiynol, gan gynnwys y rheini sy'n gweithio yng ngwasanaethau awdurdodau lleol, addysg ac iechyd, fel rhan o'n rhaglen drawsnewid anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Mae hynny wedi cynnwys cyhoeddi canllawiau i addysgwyr. Mae'r canllawiau hynny’n manylu ar ymyriadau effeithiol ar gyfer dysgwyr ag awtistiaeth mewn lleoliadau addysg. Ac rydym yn parhau i gyflwyno a datblygu ein cynllun dysgu gydag awtistiaeth, gyda rhaglenni wedi'u hanelu at y blynyddoedd cynnar, cynradd, uwchradd ac addysg bellach. Mae hynny'n cynnwys cyhoeddi a pharatoi pecynnau adnoddau dwyieithog ar gyfer yr holl leoliadau hynny, felly mae hynny'n ein galluogi, fel y dywedais, i helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth, ac rwy'n siŵr y bydd y llyfr y sonioch chi amdano a Moli'r fuwch yn ychwanegiad defnyddiol at yr adnoddau y bydd eu hangen ar ysgolion i allu mynd i'r afael â'r gwahaniaethau pwysig hyn sy'n bodoli mewn ystafell ddosbarth.

Minister, sport plays an important part in supporting children with autism and their families. However, children with autism are often misunderstood and can find socialising and communication challenging in their communities and in their surroundings. The lack of autism awareness among other children can therefore lead to autistic people being isolated or bullied. Minister, what guidelines has the Welsh Government issued to ensure that our schools take a proactive approach to raising autism awareness to promote greater understanding and tolerance of autism in our classrooms? Thank you.

Weinidog, mae chwaraeon yn chwarae rhan bwysig yn cefnogi plant ag awtistiaeth a'u teuluoedd. Fodd bynnag, mae plant ag awtistiaeth yn aml yn cael eu camddeall a gallant ei chael hi’n anodd cymdeithasu a chyfathrebu yn eu cymunedau ac yn eu hamgylchedd. O’r herwydd, gall diffyg ymwybyddiaeth o awtistiaeth ymhlith plant eraill arwain at ynysu neu fwlio pobl awtistig. Weinidog, pa ganllawiau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u cyhoeddi i sicrhau bod ein hysgolion yn mynd ati’n rhagweithiol i godi ymwybyddiaeth o awtistiaeth er mwyn hyrwyddo gwell goddefgarwch a dealltwriaeth o awtistiaeth yn ein hystafelloedd dosbarth? Diolch.

As I said in answer to Jayne Bryant, we have a pan-Wales programme of raising the autism awareness of the practitioners that are working with children. That includes, as I said, producing guides and training material for them, as well as producing resources that can be used in schools, and, of course, our new curriculum gives us the opportunity, in a variety of ways, but primarily through our health and well-being area of learning and experience, where we can proactively explore difference of all kinds with our children and ensure that they are understanding, empathetic, respectful and knowledgeable about the very diverse communities that they will be growing in and that they will become, hopefully, an ethical, informed citizen of when they leave our school system.

Fel y dywedais yn fy ateb i Jayne Bryant, mae gennym raglen Cymru gyfan ar waith i wella ymwybyddiaeth o awtistiaeth ymhlith addysgwyr sy'n gweithio gyda phlant. Mae hynny'n cynnwys, fel y dywedais, cynhyrchu canllawiau a deunydd hyfforddi ar eu cyfer, yn ogystal â chynhyrchu adnoddau y gellir eu defnyddio mewn ysgolion, ac wrth gwrs, mae ein cwricwlwm newydd yn rhoi cyfle i ni, mewn amryw o ffyrdd, ond yn bennaf drwy ein maes dysgu a phrofiad iechyd a lles, lle gallwn fynd ati’n rhagweithiol i archwilio gwahaniaethau o bob math gyda'n plant a sicrhau eu bod yn deall, yn empathetig, yn barchus ac yn wybodus am y cymunedau amrywiol iawn y byddant yn tyfu i fyny ynddynt ac y byddant, gobeithio, yn dod yn ddinasyddion moesegol, gwybodus ynddynt pan fyddant yn gadael ein system ysgolion.

Cymwysterau TGAU Cymraeg a Saesneg
Welsh and English GCSEs

4. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am roi cydraddoldeb i gymwysterau TGAU Cymraeg a Saesneg mewn gofynion prifysgolion yng Nghymru? OAQ54914

4. Will the Minister make a statement on giving equality to Welsh and English GCSEs in the requirements of universities in Wales? OAQ54914

Student recruitment, as I said earlier, is a matter for individual institutions. However, it is my understanding that universities treat Welsh and English GCSEs equally, although individual courses may have specific entry requirements.

Mater i sefydliadau unigol yw recriwtio myfyrwyr, fel y dywedais yn gynharach. Fodd bynnag, deallaf fod prifysgolion yn trin TGAU Cymraeg a Saesneg yn gyfartal, er y gallai fod gofynion mynediad penodol ar gyfer cyrsiau unigol.

Rydych chi'n iawn mai mater i brifysgolion ydy manylion, ond mae yna faterion o egwyddor pwysig yn fan hyn. Mae yna fwy nag un achos tebyg wedi cael ei dynnu at fy sylw i. Yn yr achos penodol yma, yr un diweddaraf, mae darpar fyfyriwr meddygaeth wedi cael gwybod na all hi gael ei derbyn ar y cwrs am nad oes ganddi hi radd B mewn Saesneg TGAU—C sydd ganddi hi; mae B ganddi hi yn ei hiaith gyntaf hi, sef Cymraeg. Rŵan, mae Comisiynydd y Gymraeg wedi dweud wrthym ni fod yna amryw gyrsiau eraill lle mae'r gofynion mynediad yn gofyn am C mewn Cymraeg neu Saesneg.

'Mi fyddwn ni'n gofyn am eglurhad pam fod angen B yn Saesneg yn benodol, a pham na fyddai B yn y Gymraeg yn ddigonol am y rhesymau hyn hefyd.'

Mae'n gwneud y pwynt bod hyn yn arbennig o wir o ystyried yr angen sy'n bodoli am ragor o weithwyr gofal sylfaenol sydd â sgiliau yn y Gymraeg. Fe ddywedodd y Coleg Cymraeg wrthyf i, ym marn y coleg, dylid trin y Gymraeg a'r Saesneg yn gyfartal o ran y gofyniad yna, a byddan nhw'n mynegi hyn i'r brifysgol. Ydych chi'n cytuno efo'r egwyddor honno, y dylai'r ddwy iaith gael eu trin yn gyfartal yng Nghymru ar gyfer cwrs sy'n darparu ar gyfer y gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yng Nghymru?

You're right that it's a matter for universities, the detail, but there are important issues of principle here. There's more than one case that's been drawn to my attention. In this specific case, the latest one, a provisional medical student has found out that she won't be accepted on a course because she doesn't have a B grade in English GCSE—she has a C; she has a B in her first language, Welsh. Now, the Welsh Language Commissioner has told us there are a variety of other courses where the entry requirements ask for a C in Welsh or English.

We would ask for an explanation as to why you need a B in English specifically, and why a B in Welsh wouldn't be sufficient.

He makes the point that this is especially true given the need for more primary care workers who have Welsh language skills. The Coleg Cymraeg told me that in their opinion, Welsh and English should be treated equally in terms of this requirement and they'd be conveying that to the university. Do you agree with the principle that the languages should be treated equally in Wales for a course that provides for public services in Wales?

14:05

Of course, I believe that the ability to be able to practice medicine bilingually through the medium of both English and Welsh would put someone in very great stead for being an excellent practitioner, but as I said in answer to the question, universities themselves are responsible for setting individual grade requirements for the courses. They do that, often, in a way to ensure that the right students are placed on those courses with the right abilities to be able to be successful and to thrive. That individual case I am happy to look at, but as I said, it is for individual institutions to make a decision on the individual requirements that they require of students to be able to be successful on that course, but the principle of a Welsh first language GCSE or an English GCSE being compatible is one that I agree with and one that we use as a compatible performance measure in the Welsh Government's own evaluation system.

Wrth gwrs, credaf y byddai'r gallu i allu ymarfer meddygaeth yn ddwyieithog drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg a'r Gymraeg yn rhoi rhywun mewn lle gwych iawn i fod yn ymarferydd rhagorol, ond fel y dywedais wrth ateb y cwestiwn, y prifysgolion eu hunain sy'n gyfrifol am bennu'r gofynion unigol o ran graddau ar gyfer y cyrsiau. Maent yn gwneud hynny, yn aml, mewn ffordd i sicrhau bod y myfyrwyr iawn yn cael eu rhoi ar y cyrsiau hynny, myfyrwyr â'r galluoedd iawn i allu llwyddo a ffynnu. Rwy’n fwy na pharod i edrych ar yr achos unigol hwnnw, ond fel y dywedais, mater i sefydliadau unigol yw gwneud penderfyniad ynglŷn â’r gofynion penodol er mwyn i fyfyrwyr allu llwyddo ar y cwrs hwnnw, ond mae'r egwyddor fod TGAU Cymraeg iaith gyntaf neu TGAU Saesneg yn gydnaws â'i gilydd yn un y cytunaf â hi ac yn un rydym yn ei defnyddio fel mesur perfformiad cydnaws yn system werthuso Llywodraeth Cymru.

As the higher education admissions guide issued by Qualifications Wales states, the reformed GCSEs in Wales retain the grading scale A* to G. No precise comparison can be made between the current alphabetical grading scale and the revised numerical scale in England. Of course, Wales also has two maths GCSEs, mathematics and numeracy, and England only one, risking the creation of complications and confusion when clearly we need understanding of comparability. If and when, therefore, universities fail to understand how to compare effectively so that equal achievement is recognised equally, what action does the Welsh Government take directly to overcome any misunderstandings or misconceptions in any universities in Wales, England or elsewhere who may be getting it wrong?

Fel y dywed y canllaw derbyniadau addysg uwch a gyhoeddwyd gan Cymwysterau Cymru, mae'r TGAU diwygiedig yng Nghymru yn cadw'r raddfa raddio A* i G. Ni ellir gwneud cymhariaeth fanwl rhwng y raddfa raddio gyfredol sy'n mynd yn ôl trefn yr wyddor a'r raddfa rifol ddiwygiedig yn Lloegr. Wrth gwrs, mae gan Gymru ddwy TGAU mathemateg hefyd, mathemateg a rhifedd, ac un yn unig sydd gan Loegr, ac mae posibilrwydd wrth gwrs y gall hynny greu cymhlethdodau a dryswch pan fo angen i ni allu eu cymharu. Os a phan, felly, y bydd prifysgolion yn methu deall sut i gymharu'n effeithiol fel bod cyflawniad cyfartal yn cael ei gydnabod yn gyfartal, pa gamau uniongyrchol y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i oresgyn unrhyw gamddealltwriaeth neu gamdybiaethau mewn unrhyw brifysgolion yng Nghymru, Lloegr neu unrhyw le arall a allai fod yn camddeall pethau?

The first thing to say, Mark, is that our GCSEs and A-levels and our suite of qualifications are absolutely of the same rigour as those across the border. The decision by the English Government to change their grading arrangements is rightly a matter for them, but Qualifications Wales has been quite clear in their advice that the letter grading system is one that is well understood by universities and employers, and perhaps in terms of educating universities as to qualifications, maybe it is the numbering system that they need additional information on.

However, because there is a divergence in the qualification system and we want to ensure the portability of our qualifications system for our children and young people, for instance, Qualifications Wales has a dedicated employee who works with the higher education sector across the UK to ensure that there is a full understanding of the raft of qualifications that Welsh children sit, their value and their rigour, and I'm grateful for the work that Qualifications Wales do in this regard.

Y peth cyntaf i'w ddweud, Mark, yw bod ein TGAU a'n Safon Uwch a'n cyfres o gymwysterau yr un mor drylwyr â'r rheini dros y ffin. Mae penderfyniad Llywodraeth Lloegr i newid eu trefniadau graddio, yn fater iddynt hwy, ac mae hynny’n gwbl briodol, ond mae Cymwysterau Cymru wedi rhoi cyngor clir fod y system raddio yn ôl llythrennau yn un y mae prifysgolion a chyflogwyr yn ei deall yn dda, ac efallai o ran addysgu prifysgolion ynglŷn â chymwysterau, efallai mai ar y system rifol y mae angen gwybodaeth ychwanegol arnynt.

Fodd bynnag, gan fod gwahaniaeth yn y system gymwysterau a'n bod yn awyddus i sicrhau cludadwyedd ein system gymwysterau ar gyfer ein plant a'n pobl ifanc, er enghraifft, mae gan Gymwysterau Cymru weithiwr penodedig sy'n gweithio gyda'r sector addysg uwch ledled y DU i sicrhau bod ganddynt ddealltwriaeth lawn o'r llu o gymwysterau y mae plant Cymru yn astudio ar eu cyfer, a'u gwerth a'u trylwyredd, ac rwy'n ddiolchgar am y gwaith y mae Cymwysterau Cymru yn ei wneud yn hyn o beth.

Adolygiad Reid
Reid Review

5. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am gynlluniau Llywodraeth Cymru i weithredu argymhellion Adolygiad Reid? OAQ54918

5. Will the Minister make a statement on the Welsh Government's plans to implement the recommendations of the Reid Review? OAQ54918

The Reid review recommendations were accepted in principle by the Welsh Government in 2018 and, since that time, I have been taking forward actions in support of these recommendations with Ministers and officials from across the Government.

Derbyniwyd argymhellion adolygiad Reid mewn egwyddor gan Lywodraeth Cymru yn 2018, ac ers hynny, rwyf wedi bod yn bwrw ymlaen â chamau i gefnogi’r argymhellion hyn gyda Gweinidogion a swyddogion o bob rhan o'r Llywodraeth.

In the evidence that the Minister gave to the Children, Young People and Education Committee last week, she made a clear budgetary commitment to meeting £15 million of spending towards implementing in particular recommendation 2 of the Reid review. But the Reid review recommendation 2 was an additional £30 million a year to incentivise researchers to win greater funding from business and from outside Wales. I've no doubt that the Minister is committed to meeting in principle the recommendations of the Reid review, but the figure that she has outlined is £15 million short. And what she said in response to questioning was that the Welsh Government is funding this research in a variety of different reviews almost Byzantine in their complexity. The money is out there somewhere, but it's very complex to audit it beyond the £15 million she's committed. Yet, the third recommendation of the Reid review is a single overarching brand for its research and innovation funding to increase visibility and coherence. So, with that in mind, can she provide a more detailed explanation of where the money will come from? And if she can't do that today, will she commit to providing that explanation as quickly as possible and, if possible, make a statement to the Chamber around that, and work with her ministerial colleagues to deliver the coherence that the Reid review has recommended?

Yn y dystiolaeth a roddodd y Gweinidog i'r Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg yr wythnos diwethaf, gwnaeth ymrwymiad cyllidebol clir i sicrhau £15 miliwn o wariant ar gyfer gweithredu, yn benodol, argymhelliad 2 yn adolygiad Reid. Ond roedd argymhelliad 2 yn adolygiad Reid yn argymell £30 miliwn y flwyddyn yn ychwanegol i gymell ymchwilwyr i sicrhau mwy o gyllid gan fusnesau ac o'r tu allan i Gymru. Nid oes gennyf unrhyw amheuaeth fod y Gweinidog wedi ymrwymo i gyflawni argymhellion adolygiad Reid mewn egwyddor, ond mae'r ffigur a amlinellwyd ganddi £15 miliwn yn brin. A’r hyn a ddywedodd mewn ymateb i gwestiynau oedd bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn ariannu’r ymchwil mewn amrywiaeth o wahanol adolygiadau sydd bron yn Fysantaidd o ran eu cymhlethdod. Mae'r arian allan yno yn rhywle, ond mae'n gymhleth iawn ei archwilio y tu hwnt i'r £15 miliwn a ymrwymwyd ganddi. Serch hynny, mae trydydd argymhelliad adolygiad Reid yn argymell un brand trosfwaol ar gyfer ei gyllid ymchwil ac arloesi i gynyddu gwelededd a chysondeb. Felly, gyda hynny mewn golwg, a all esbonio’n fanylach o ble y daw'r arian? Ac os na all wneud hynny heddiw, a wnaiff hi ymrwymo i ddarparu esboniad cyn gynted â phosibl, ac os oes modd, gwneud datganiad i'r Siambr ynglŷn â hynny, a gweithio gyda'i chyd-Weinidogion i sicrhau’r cysondeb a argymhellwyd gan adolygiad Reid?

14:10

The Member is absolutely right, Presiding Officer: we are investing some £15 million in an innovation and engagement fund. That was a fund that was abolished or stopped back in 2014 because of the pressure that was on the Welsh Government budget at that time, and I'm delighted that we've been able to get back into funding that provision. On top of that, we are making allocations to quality research funding to HEFCW in line with the recommendations in both Reid and the Diamond report. But funding for research and innovation is spread across a number of portfolios: mine, the portfolio of Ken Skates, and the portfolio of Vaughan Gething. So, in its totality, the Welsh Government is spending significant amounts of money on research, on innovation across the piece. It can be complex and that's why this work is being undertaken by officials, to be able to have a better understanding of the resources that are available.

But I have to say to the Member, our ability to fund universities in this way is severely under threat because of the lack of clarity under the shared prosperity fund. Much of the resources that have funded the Sêr Cymru programme, the KES programme at Bangor University—these programmes have been funded by money from European structural funds, and the inability to have clarity on that and the inability to be able to have Welsh Government direct that funding is a real threat. And that's why Universities Wales is supporting the Welsh Government in its call for clarity to the Westminster Government on the ability to have the replacement structural funds, and for those funds to be managed here, quite rightly, by this Government, and scrutinised by this Parliament.

Mae'r Aelod yn llygad ei le, Lywydd: rydym yn buddsoddi oddeutu £15 miliwn mewn cronfa arloesi ac ymgysylltu. Roedd honno'n gronfa a gafodd ei diddymu neu ei dirwyn i ben yn ôl yn 2014 oherwydd y pwysau a oedd ar gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru bryd hynny, ac rwy'n falch iawn ein bod wedi gallu ailddechrau ariannu'r ddarpariaeth honno. Yn ychwanegol at hynny, rydym yn dyrannu cyllid ymchwil o safon i CCAUC yn unol â'r argymhellion yn adroddiadau Reid a Diamond. Ond mae cyllid ar gyfer ymchwil ac arloesi wedi'i wasgaru ar draws nifer o bortffolios: fy mhortffolio i, portffolio Ken Skates, a phortffolio Vaughan Gething. Felly, at ei gilydd, mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwario symiau sylweddol o arian ar ymchwil, ar arloesi yn gyffredinol. Gall fod yn gymhleth a dyna pam fod swyddogion yn gwneud y gwaith hwn, er mwyn gallu cael gwell dealltwriaeth o'r adnoddau sydd ar gael.

Ond mae'n rhaid i mi ddweud wrth yr Aelod, mae ein gallu i ariannu prifysgolion yn y ffordd hon o dan fygythiad difrifol oherwydd y diffyg eglurder o dan y gronfa ffyniant gyffredin. Mae llawer o'r adnoddau sydd wedi ariannu rhaglen Sêr Cymru, rhaglen Sgiliau'r Economi Wybodaeth ym Mhrifysgol Bangor—mae'r rhaglenni hyn wedi cael eu hariannu gan arian o gronfeydd strwythurol Ewropeaidd, ac mae'r anallu i gael eglurder ynghylch hynny a'r anallu i gael Llywodraeth Cymru i gyfeirio'r cyllid hwnnw yn fygythiad gwirioneddol. A dyna pam fod Prifysgolion Cymru yn cefnogi galwad Llywodraeth Cymru am eglurder gan Lywodraeth San Steffan ar y gallu i gael y cronfeydd strwythurol newydd, ac i'r cronfeydd hynny gael eu rheoli yma, yn gwbl briodol, gan y Llywodraeth hon, ac i'r Senedd hon allu craffu arnynt.

Ysgolion yr Unfed Ganrif ar Hugain
Twenty-first Century Schools

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am raglen ysgolion yr unfed ganrif ar hugain yn Sir Gaerfyrddin? OAQ54921

6. Will the Minister provide an update on the twenty-first century schools programme in Carmarthenshire? OAQ54921

Thank you. Carmarthenshire has seen £87 million invested in their school estate through the first wave of the twenty-first century schools and colleges programme. A further £112 million for rebuild and refurbishment of Carmarthenshire’s school estate is proposed for the second wave of the programme, funding of which began in April of last year.

Diolch. Mae £87 miliwn wedi'i fuddsoddi yn ystâd ysgolion Sir Gaerfyrddin drwy don gyntaf rhaglen ysgolion a cholegau'r unfed ganrif ar hugain. Cynigir £112 miliwn yn ychwanegol i ailadeiladu ac adnewyddu ystâd ysgolion Sir Gaerfyrddin yn ystod ail don y rhaglen, a dechreuodd y cyllid ar gyfer y don honno ym mis Ebrill y llynedd.

I am grateful to the Minister for that update. The Minister will not be surprised to hear me asking her again about progress on delivering Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant in Llanelli. I was very grateful when, before Christmas, the First Minister undertook to have some cross-Cabinet discussions about the particular issues around planning for that school, and I wonder if the Minister is able to tell me today whether those conversations have taken place and when the parents, the staff, but most importantly of all, the pupils, can expect to hear that building on the new school will start.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog am y diweddariad hwnnw. Ni fydd y Gweinidog yn synnu fy nghlywed yn ei holi eto am y cynnydd a wnaed ar ddarparu Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant yn Llanelli. Roeddwn yn ddiolchgar iawn pan ymrwymodd y Prif Weinidog, cyn y Nadolig, i gael trafodaethau traws-Gabinet am y materion penodol sy'n codi mewn perthynas â chynllunio ar gyfer yr ysgol honno, a tybed a all y Gweinidog ddweud wrthyf heddiw a yw'r sgyrsiau hynny wedi digwydd a phryd y gall y rhieni, y staff, ond yn bwysicaf oll, y disgyblion, ddisgwyl clywed y bydd y gwaith o adeiladu'r ysgol newydd yn dechrau.

Well, as the Member will be aware, the outline business case for the replacement of that particular school was approved in 2017. However, since that time, that proposal has become subject to a wide-ranging discussion around planning issues, which the Member will be aware of. The planning decision branch of the Welsh Government is currently contemplating the request of a call-in, but I have to inform the Member that the request cannot be considered in its full way until Carmarthenshire council prepares its own officer's report and submits this to the committee meeting. Officials are currently awaiting that report, and then will make recommendations to the Minister for Housing and Local Government upon its receipt. Any influence she can bring to that process is very welcome.

Wel, fel y gŵyr yr Aelod, cymeradwywyd yr achos busnes amlinellol ar gyfer adeiladu'r ysgol newydd honno yn 2017. Fodd bynnag, yn y cyfamser, mae'r cynnig hwnnw wedi dod yn destun cryn drafodaeth o ran materion cynllunio y bydd yr Aelod yn ymwybodol ohonynt. Ar hyn o bryd, mae'r adran o Lywodraeth Cymru sy'n gyfrifol am wneud penderfyniadau cynllunio yn ystyried cais i'w alw i mewn, ond mae'n rhaid i mi roi gwybod i'r Aelod na ellir ystyried y cais yn llawn hyd nes bod cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin yn paratoi adroddiad ei swyddogion ei hun ac yn ei gyflwyno i'r pwyllgor. Ar hyn o bryd, mae swyddogion yn aros am yr adroddiad hwnnw, a byddant yn gwneud argymhellion i'r Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol ar ôl ei dderbyn. Mae unrhyw ddylanwad y gallai hi ei gael ar y broses honno i'w groesawu.

Minister, I wonder if you could tell or confirm to us what formal arrangements you have in place for monitoring and evaluating the value for money of the twenty-first century schools programme deliveries, whether it's Carmarthenshire or throughout Wales.

Weinidog, tybed a allech ddweud neu gadarnhau wrthym pa drefniadau ffurfiol sydd gennych ar waith ar gyfer monitro a gwerthuso gwerth am arian mewn perthynas â chyflawniadau rhaglen ysgolion yr unfed ganrif ar hugain, boed hynny yn Sir Gaerfyrddin neu ledled Cymru.

Absolutely. Given the considerable amount of public money that is being spent on the programme, both money from within Welsh Government, but also capital money that local government themselves put into the project, then there is an evaluation process. That helped inform the second wave of funding, and we continue to work with our local authority partners to deliver the best value for money possible. I'm very pleased to say, because of very close management of the fund in the first band, we were able to deliver more projects than had been initially anticipated at the beginning of the project. But close attention to value for money is an important part of the robust process that is overseen independently of the Government when approvals are taken. So, it's a multilayered approach, and recommendations are made to Ministers by an independent panel.

Yn sicr. O ystyried y swm sylweddol o arian cyhoeddus sy'n cael ei wario ar y rhaglen, sy'n cynnwys arian gan Lywodraeth Cymru, ond hefyd arian cyfalaf y mae llywodraeth leol eu hunain yn ei roi i'r prosiect, ac yna fe geir proses werthuso. Mae hynny wedi bod o gymorth wrth lywio'r ail don o gyllid, ac rydym yn parhau i weithio gyda'n partneriaid yn yr awdurdodau lleol i gyflawni'r gwerth gorau posibl am arian. Gan i'r gronfa gael ei rheoli'n dda iawn yn y band cyntaf, rwy'n falch iawn o ddweud ein bod wedi gallu cyflawni mwy o brosiectau nag a ragwelwyd ar ddechrau'r prosiect. Ond mae rhoi sylw manwl i werth am arian yn rhan bwysig o'r broses drylwyr sy'n cael ei goruchwylio yn annibynnol ar y Llywodraeth pan roddir cymeradwyaeth. Felly, mae'n ddull amlhaenog, a gwneir argymhellion i Weinidogion gan banel annibynnol.

14:15
Yr Adolygiad Cyllido Ysgolion
The Review of School Funding

7. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am yr adolygiad cyllido ysgolion yng Nghymru? OAQ54926

7. Will the Minister provide an update on the review of school funding in Wales? OAQ54926

The leading education economist Luke Sibieta is taking forward an analysis of how total spending and spending on different categories varies across schools in specific circumstances in Wales. The terms of reference for this work have been published, and it is intended that this work will be completed before the summer recess.

Mae'r economegydd addysg blaenllaw Luke Sibieta yn bwrw ymlaen â dadansoddiad o sut y mae cyfanswm y gwariant a gwariant ar gategorïau gwahanol yn amrywio rhwng ysgolion o dan amgylchiadau penodol yng Nghymru. Mae'r cylch gorchwyl ar gyfer y gwaith hwn wedi'i gyhoeddi, a'r bwriad yw y bydd y gwaith wedi'i gwblhau cyn toriad yr haf.

Thank you for that answer, Minister. We're all aware that the quantum of school funding will remain an issue until we not only reverse the impact of 10 years of Tory cuts to the Welsh budget but can also increase our budgets in real terms and for a sustained period. But in spite of those pressures, I'm proud that the Welsh Government has provided £100 million to deliver improved school standards, introduced the pupil development access grant, increased support for free school meals, supports the holiday hunger scheme and delivers the twenty-first century schools programme. But can you tell me to what extent the 2020-1 Welsh budget settlement will address some of the concerns identified in the Children, Young People and Education Committee's inquiry on school funding in Wales?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog. Mae pob un ohonom yn ymwybodol y bydd maint cyllid ysgolion yn parhau i fod yn broblem hyd nes ein bod nid yn unig yn gwrthdroi effaith 10 mlynedd o doriadau Torïaidd i gyllideb Cymru ond hefyd yn gallu cynyddu ein cyllidebau mewn termau real ac am gyfnod estynedig. Ond er gwaethaf y pwysau, rwy'n falch fod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi darparu £100 miliwn i gyflawni gwell safonau ysgolion, wedi cyflwyno grant mynediad datblygu disgyblion, wedi cynyddu cefnogaeth ar gyfer prydau ysgol am ddim, yn cefnogi'r cynllun newyn gwyliau ac yn cyflwyno rhaglen ysgolion yr unfed ganrif ar hugain. Ond a allwch ddweud wrthyf i ba raddau y bydd setliad cyllideb Cymru ar gyfer 2020-1 yn mynd i’r afael â rhai o’r pryderon a nodwyd yn ymchwiliad y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg i gyllid ysgolion yng Nghymru?

Okay. I can say that the decisions made by regional school improvement services, local education authorities and councils will form a part of Luke's investigation and report. One of the issues that was front and centre of the committee's report was not just the total sum of funding but actually the way in which that money allocated reaches the front line and gets into an individual school's budget. And so, as I said, that will form an important part of the report.

With regard to the financial year we're about to go into, having listened very carefully to colleagues in local government and received assurances from them that, if the Welsh Government was to provide local government with a good settlement, they would prioritise schools and social services, I think that puts us in a good place, as well as the additional resources that are available to me, some of which investments you outlined in your supplementary question.

Iawn. Gallaf ddweud y bydd y penderfyniadau a wneir gan wasanaethau rhanbarthol gwella ysgolion, awdurdodau addysg lleol a chynghorau yn rhan o ymchwiliad ac adroddiad Luke. Un o'r materion blaenllaw yn adroddiad y pwyllgor oedd nid yn unig cyfanswm y cyllid, ond mewn gwirionedd, y ffordd y mae'r arian a ddyrannwyd yn cyrraedd y rheng flaen ac yn mynd i gyllideb ysgolion unigol. Ac felly, fel y dywedais, bydd hynny'n rhan bwysig o'r adroddiad.

O ran y flwyddyn ariannol sydd ar ddod, ar ôl gwrando'n ofalus iawn ar gydweithwyr mewn llywodraeth leol a chael sicrwydd ganddynt, pe bai Llywodraeth Cymru yn rhoi setliad da i lywodraeth leol, y byddent yn blaenoriaethu ysgolion a gwasanaethau cymdeithasol, credaf fod hynny'n ein rhoi mewn sefyllfa dda, yn ogystal â'r adnoddau ychwanegol sydd ar gael i mi, gan gynnwys rhai o'r buddsoddiadau a amlinellwyd gennych yn eich cwestiwn atodol.

Y Fframwaith Siarter Iaith
The Siarter Iaith Framework

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi diweddariad ar y fframwaith Siarter Iaith? OAQ54928

8. Will the Minister provide an update on the Siarter Iaith framework? OAQ54928

Diolch yn fawr, Llyr. Siarter Iaith is the responsibility of the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language. I can, however, tell you that the Siarter Iaith framework was part of the consultation on the new curriculum for Wales. The responses will be considered alongside the independent evaluation of the programme, which is currently ongoing.

Diolch yn fawr, Llyr. Cyfrifoldeb Gweinidog y Gymraeg a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol yw Siarter Iaith. Fodd bynnag, gallaf ddweud wrthych fod fframwaith Siarter Iaith yn rhan o'r ymgynghoriad ar gwricwlwm newydd Cymru. Bydd yr ymatebion yn cael eu hystyried ochr yn ochr â'r gwerthusiad annibynnol o'r rhaglen, sy'n mynd rhagddo ar hyn o bryd.

Wel, diolch ichi am hynny. Yn amlwg, mi ddywedodd y canllawiau cychwynnol—

Well, thank you for that. Obviously, the initial guidance—

Mae'n ddrwg gen i—

I'm sorry—

Sorry—my earpiece. My Welsh isn't that good. [Laughter.] Blwyddyn 2 standard. 

Mae'n ddrwg gennyf—fy nghlustffonau. Nid yw fy Nghymraeg mor dda â hynny. [Chwerthin.] Safon blwyddyn 2.

Diolch. Mi ddywedodd y canllawiau cychwynnol, wrth gwrs, a gyhoeddwyd i ysgolion nôl ym mis Ebrill, y byddai yna ganllawiau pellach ymarferol ar gael erbyn mis Medi. Wel, rŷn ni bum mis yn ddiweddarach ac rŷn ni dal, hyd y gwelaf i, ddim wedi eu gweld nhw. Nawr, dwi'n derbyn beth ddywedoch chi ynglŷn â chyfrifoldeb Gweinidogion o gwmpas hyn, ond y pwynt dwi eisiau ei wneud yw: mi ddylai'r Siarter Iaith fod yn llawer mwy blaenllaw a chanolog, yn fy marn i, i'r ymdrech yma i dyfu'r iaith Gymraeg drwy gyfrwng ystafell ddosbarth, er mai hyrwyddo defnydd o'r iaith y tu hwnt i'r ystafell ddosbarth mae'n ei wneud, wrth gwrs. A dwi eisiau clywed gan y Llywodraeth fod y Siarter Iaith yn cael y statws dyledus yna er mwyn i fi gael hyder ei fod yn flaenoriaeth ichi fel Llywodraeth, oherwydd mae'r oedi yma yn y canllawiau diweddaraf yn rhywbeth sy'n fy mhoeni i yn fawr. Mi fyddai modd lleddfu hynny, wrth gwrs, drwy sicrhau, fel rŷch chi wedi, efallai, rhyw hanner awgrymu, y byddai cyfeiriad llawer mwy cryf tuag at y Siarter Iaith yn y cwricwlwm newydd. Ond y neges dwi eisiau ei glywed gennych chi, os caf i, yw ei fod e'n rhan ganolog o weledigaeth y Llywodraeth yn y maes yma a bod gennych chi ymrwymiad i sicrhau bod y Siarter Iaith yn tyfu ac yn datblygu ymhellach.

Thank you. The initial guidance provided to schools back in April stated that there would be further practical guidance available by September. Well, we're five months later and, as far as I can see, we still haven't seen those. Now, I accept what you said about ministerial responsibility around this, but the point I want to make is that the Siarter Iaith should be far more prominent and central, in my view, in this attempt to develop the Welsh language through the classroom, although it does promote the use of Welsh outside the classroom, of course. And I do want to hear from the Government that the Siarter Iaith is given that appropriate status so that I can have confidence that it is a priority for you as Government, because this delay in terms of the latest guidance is something that concerns me a great deal. You could alleviate that concern by ensuring, as you have perhaps suggested, that there would be a far stronger reference to the Siarter Iaith in the new curriculum for Wales. But the message I want to hear from you is that it is a central part of the Government's vision in this area and that you have a commitment to ensuring that the Siarter Iaith does grow and develop further.

Well, I hope the Member will be pleased when we publish the final version of the curriculum guidance at the end of this month that we have listened very carefully to the feedback from the initial period with regard to the Siarter. External evaluation is ongoing and, due to the changes to the timetable of the evaluation, the project will now not be completed until the end of February. As a result, new guidance will not be published until the summer term. Schools will be expected to implement the new framework from September 2020, and the Siarter Iaith co-ordinators have been informed of this new timetable. So, it is the delays around the evaluation work that have led to the knock-on effect. But the Siarter is going to be a very important way in which we develop the language.

One of the challenges we sometimes face, especially for children for whom Welsh is not their language at home, is that, too often, language is seen as something that happens within the classroom, rather than a living, breathing part of the entire school community in all its regards. And so being able to build upon speaking the language outside of the classroom will be a really important part of, first of all, developing individuals' skills and proficiency, but also sending a very clear message of the place of the language within not just the life of school, but the daily lives of our children and the communities in which they live.

Wel, rwy'n gobeithio y bydd yr Aelod yn falch, pan fyddwn yn cyhoeddi'r fersiwn derfynol o ganllawiau'r cwricwlwm ddiwedd y mis hwn, ein bod wedi gwrando'n ofalus iawn ar yr adborth o'r cyfnod cychwynnol mewn perthynas â'r Siarter. Mae'r gwerthusiad allanol yn mynd rhagddo, ac oherwydd y newidiadau i amserlen y gwerthusiad, ni fydd y prosiect yn cael ei gwblhau tan ddiwedd mis Chwefror. O ganlyniad, ni fydd canllawiau newydd yn cael eu cyhoeddi tan dymor yr haf. Disgwylir i ysgolion weithredu'r fframwaith newydd o fis Medi 2020 ymlaen, ac mae cydgysylltwyr Siarter Iaith wedi cael gwybod am yr amserlen newydd hon. Felly, yr oedi mewn perthynas â'r gwaith gwerthuso sydd wedi arwain at yr effaith ganlyniadol hon. Ond bydd y Siarter yn ffordd bwysig iawn i ni o ddatblygu'r iaith.

Un o'r heriau sy'n ein hwynebu weithiau, yn enwedig i blant lle nad yw Cymraeg yn iaith y cartref, yw bod iaith, yn rhy aml, yn cael ei hystyried yn rhywbeth sy'n digwydd yn yr ystafell ddosbarth yn hytrach na'i bod yn rhan fyw o gymuned yr ysgol gyfan a phob agwedd arni. Ac felly bydd gallu adeiladu ar siarad yr iaith y tu allan i'r ystafell ddosbarth yn rhan bwysig iawn, yn gyntaf oll, o ddatblygu sgiliau a hyfedredd unigolion, ond hefyd wrth anfon neges glir iawn ynglŷn â lle'r iaith nid yn unig ym mywyd yr ysgol, ond ym mywydau plant o ddydd i ddydd a'r cymunedau y maent yn byw ynddynt.

14:20
2. Cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol
2. Questions to the Minister for Health and Social Services

Y cwestiynau nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Siân Gwenllian.

The next questions, therefore, are questions to the Minister for Health and Social Services, and the first question is from Siân Gwenllian.

Canolfannau Diagnosis Cyflym
Rapid Diagnostic Centres

1. Pryd bydd y Gweinidog yn cyhoeddi gwerthusiad o gynllun canolfannau diagnosis cyflym Llywodraeth Cymru? OAQ54895

1. When will the Minister publish an evaluation of the Welsh Government's rapid diagnostic centres plan? OAQ54895

Thank you for the question. The NHS-led cancer implementation group has funded two pilot rapid diagnostic centres. The interim evaluation reports were considered at its meeting in November 2019 and the final evaluation is due to be considered at its meeting in May of this year. I will update Members later in the year on the evaluation and the impact upon NHS planning and delivery.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Mae'r grŵp gweithredu ar ganser, a arweinir gan y GIG, wedi ariannu dwy ganolfan beilot ddiagnosteg gyflym. Ystyriwyd yr adroddiadau gwerthuso interim yn eu cyfarfod ym mis Tachwedd 2019 ac mae disgwyl i'r gwerthusiad terfynol gael ei ystyried yn eu cyfarfod ym mis Mai eleni. Byddaf yn rhoi diweddariad i'r Aelodau yn ddiweddarach yn y flwyddyn ar y gwerthusiad a'r effaith ar gynllunio a chyflawni y GIG.

Rydyn ni'n gwybod bod adnabod canser yn gynnar yn gwneud y gwahaniaeth rhwng cael canlyniad da neu ganlyniad gwael pan ei bod hi'n dod i drin y canser hwnnw. Yn syml iawn, mae darganfod canser yn gynnar yn achub bywyd claf. Mae'r dystiolaeth gadarnhaol sy'n dod yn sgil cynlluniau peilot Castell-nedd Port Talbot ac Ysbyty Brenhinol Morgannwg i'w chroesawu'n fawr iawn. Mae pobl Gwynedd yn galw am wasanaeth tebyg, efo dros 1,500 o bobl wedi llofnodi llythyr agored yn galw am ganolfan diagnosis cyflym yn ein hardal ni. Gan ystyried bod canser yn arwain at farwolaeth mwy o bobl yng Ngwynedd nac unrhyw beth arall, a gan ein bod ni'n gwybod bod diagnosis cyflym yn achub bywydau, pryd fedrwn ni weld canolfan diagnosis cyflym yn dod i'r ogledd-orllewin?

We know that diagnosing cancer early can be the difference between a good outcome or a poor outcome when it comes to treatment of that cancer. Quite simply, diagnosing cancer early will often save a patient's life. The positive evidence coming forward as a result of the pilot schemes in Neath Port Talbot and in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital is to be welcomed. But the people of Gwynedd are calling for a similar service, with over 1,500 people having signed an open letter calling for a rapid diagnostic centre in our area. Given that cancer does lead to more deaths in Gwynedd than anything else, and as we do know that rapid diagnosis does save lives, when will we see a rapid diagnostic centre coming to the north-west of Wales?

Well, as I say, the evaluation due in May of this year will allow us to understand the exact impact, although, obviously, the highlighting in the last couple of days has been a positive initial evaluation. The final evaluation will tell us more about not just those two sites, but then help to inform a national plan and, at that point, I'll be able to update Members on what that looks like, because there is more to consider than just simply picking locations; it's also about then having the right workforce and the right capital, should that be a requirement, around it as well. But I'm looking forward to the final evaluation and then making a choice, together with the system, about how to take that forward.

Wel, fel y dywedaf, bydd y gwerthusiad sydd i ddod ym mis Mai eleni yn caniatáu i ni ddeall yr union effaith, er bod y prif bwyntiau a gafwyd yn yr ychydig ddyddiau diwethaf, yn amlwg, wedi bod yn werthusiad cychwynnol cadarnhaol. Bydd y gwerthusiad terfynol yn dweud mwy wrthym nid yn unig am y ddau safle, ond yn ein helpu wedyn i lywio cynllun cenedlaethol, a bryd hynny, bydd modd i mi roi diweddariad i'r Aelodau ar sut beth fydd hwnnw, gan fod mwy i'w ystyried na nodi lleoliadau'n unig; mae'n ymwneud hefyd â sicrhau bod gennym y gweithlu cywir a'r cyfalaf cywir ar ei gyfer pe bai angen. Ond rwy'n edrych ymlaen at y gwerthusiad terfynol a gwneud dewis wedyn, gyda'r system, ynglŷn â sut i fwrw ymlaen â hynny.

Minister, I think we all read the very positive story about Neath Port Talbot yesterday. Of course, they've tested the pilots in England, and they are well on their way to establishing a national network. In fact, by April of this year—that's a whole month before your evaluation is finally conducted—there will be a network in England. Why are we so far behind?

Weinidog, credaf fod pob un ohonom wedi darllen y stori gadarnhaol iawn am Gastell-nedd Port Talbot ddoe. Wrth gwrs, maent wedi profi'r cynlluniau peilot yn Lloegr, ac maent yn mynd ati i sefydlu rhwydwaith cenedlaethol. Mewn gwirionedd, erbyn mis Ebrill eleni—fis cyfan cyn i'ch gwerthusiad gael ei gynnal o'r diwedd—bydd rhwydwaith ar waith yn Lloegr. Pam ein bod ni mor bell ar ei hôl hi?

We're not so far behind. I don't think that's a fair reflection at all, with respect, Mr Melding. The reality is that we've set up these pilots, we're learning lots from them, and I expect to make choices across our system within this year, and we'll then be into the implementation phase. I wouldn't quite take at face value every single press release that is issued in England about where they are in reality in terms of their service. We've seen, for example, in other periods of health spending and health performance where press releases are issued but don't actually reflect the reality upon the ground. I'm interested in an evaluation within our system of how our system works in an integrated and planned way in delivering that care on a more consistent basis across the country when we know what the right answer is. I'm much more interested in being in the space of helping to direct the service to make improvements, rather than simply saying there are lots of good ideas but I don't have a view on what that should mean across the service.

Nid ydym mor bell â hynny ar ei hôl hi. Ni chredaf fod hynny'n adlewyrchiad teg o gwbl, gyda phob parch, Mr Melding. Y gwir amdani yw ein bod wedi sefydlu'r cynlluniau peilot hyn, rydym yn dysgu llawer oddi wrthynt, ac rwy'n disgwyl gwneud dewisiadau ar draws ein system eleni, ac yna byddwn yn dechrau ar y cam gweithredu. Ni fuaswn yn derbyn yn ddi-gwestiwn bob datganiad i'r wasg a gyhoeddir yn Lloegr ynglŷn â ble maent arni go iawn gyda'u gwasanaeth. Er enghraifft, mewn cyfnodau eraill o wariant ar iechyd a pherfformiad iechyd, gwelsom ddatganiadau i'r wasg yn cael eu cyhoeddi nad ydynt yn adlewyrchu'r realiti ar lawr gwlad mewn gwirionedd. Mae gennyf ddiddordeb mewn gwerthusiad o fewn ein system o sut y mae ein system yn gweithio mewn ffordd integredig a chynlluniedig i ddarparu gofal ar sail fwy cyson ledled y wlad pan fyddwn yn gwybod beth yw'r ateb cywir. Mae gennyf fwy o ddiddordeb o lawer mewn bod mewn sefyllfa i helpu i gyfarwyddo'r gwasanaeth i wneud gwelliannau, yn hytrach na dweud yn unig fod llawer o syniadau da i'w cael ond nad oes barn gennyf ynglŷn â'r hyn y dylai hynny ei olygu ar draws y gwasanaeth.

14:25

Minister, will you join me in congratulating Dr Heather Wilkes and her team at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, and her predecessor, Dr Jeremiah, who have actually undertaken this work, and, as a consequence, we are seeing that lives are being saved through earlier diagnosis? But as you pointed out, just now and in the committee this morning, if we want more of these, we need staff to be able to deliver those departments and those units. What are you doing, as a Government, to prepare for a situation where, if these pilots are shown to be the case, with continuing positive results, we'll be able to expand this into other areas, so we have the staff, we have the resources and we have the equipment to ensure that this can be expanded across Wales?

Weinidog, a wnewch chi ymuno â mi i longyfarch Dr Heather Wilkes a'i thîm yn Ysbyty Castell-nedd Port Talbot, a'i rhagflaenydd, Dr Jeremiah, sydd wedi cyflawni'r gwaith hwn mewn gwirionedd, ac o ganlyniad, rydym yn gweld bod bywydau'n cael eu hachub drwy ddiagnosis cynharach? Ond fel y nodoch chi, yn awr ac yn y pwyllgor y bore yma, os ydym am gael mwy o'r rhain, mae arnom angen i staff allu darparu'r adrannau hynny a'r unedau hynny. Beth a wnewch fel Llywodraeth i baratoi ar gyfer sefyllfa lle bydd modd i ni ehangu hyn i feysydd eraill os gwelir bod y cynlluniau peilot hyn yn gweithio, gyda chanlyniadau cadarnhaol parhaus, fel bod gennym staff, adnoddau ac offer i sicrhau y gellir ehangu hyn ledled Cymru?

I think the points that I made in committee today are still exactly the right ones. It is about recognising not just the plan to have these, but, actually, the work of the staff to lead and deliver that work on the ground in a pilot phase, and that the learning isn't just the outcomes of what that means, but also the staff mix that you need to deliver them successfully. So, the evaluation can't simply be about, 'This is the right answer', and then not having a view on how that moves forward.

I want to be in a position to understand whether we need to make different investment choices centrally, or whether, actually, we need to help direct and get around our system in different parts of the service. That's why, for example, we've continued to invest in imaging services, not just the imaging academy, to improve the quality of training and to improve the retention of staff, but also the investment we've made in the most recent round of healthcare professionals' training and the additional investment we've made in radiotherapists, for example, as well. So, this is about equipping ourselves for the future, but still properly understanding that there's more we need to do when we have that full evaluation of what to do next.

Credaf fod y pwyntiau a wneuthum yn y pwyllgor heddiw yn hollol gywir o hyd. Mae'n ymwneud â chydnabod nid yn unig y cynllun i gael y rhain, ond mewn gwirionedd, gwaith y staff i arwain ac i gyflawni'r gwaith hwnnw ar lawr gwlad mewn cyfnod peilot, ac nad yw'r dysgu'n ymwneud â chanlyniadau'r hyn y mae hynny'n ei olygu yn unig, ond hefyd y gymysgedd o staff sydd ei angen arnoch i'w cyflawni'n llwyddiannus. Felly, ni all y gwerthusiad nodi, 'Dyma'r ateb cywir' yn unig, a pheidio â chynnwys barn ynglŷn â sut y dylid bwrw ymlaen â hynny wedyn.

Rwy'n awyddus i fod mewn sefyllfa i ddeall a oes angen i ni wneud gwahanol ddewisiadau buddsoddi yn ganolog, neu a oes angen, mewn gwirionedd, i ni helpu i gyfarwyddo a symud o amgylch ein system mewn gwahanol rannau o'r gwasanaeth. Dyna pam, er enghraifft, ein bod wedi parhau i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau delweddu, nid yn unig yr academi ddelweddu, i wella ansawdd yr hyfforddiant ac i wella cyfraddau cadw staff, ond hefyd y buddsoddiad a wnaethom yn y rownd ddiweddaraf o hyfforddiant gweithwyr gofal iechyd proffesiynol a'r buddsoddiad ychwanegol rydym wedi'i wneud mewn radiotherapyddion, er enghraifft. Felly, mae a wnelo hyn ag ymbaratoi ar gyfer y dyfodol, ond gan ddeall yn iawn o hyd fod angen inni wneud rhagor pan gawn y gwerthusiad llawn o'r hyn y dylid ei wneud nesaf.

Trosglwyddo Cleifion
The Transfer of Patients

2. Pa drafodaethau y mae’r Gweinidog yn eu cael gyda byrddau iechyd a phartneriaid cysylltiedig i wella’r broses o drosglwyddo cleifion o ysbytai yn ôl i leoliadau cymunedol? OAQ54912

2. What discussions is the Minister having with health boards and associated partners to improve the transfer of patients from hospitals back into community settings? OAQ54912

I thank David Rees for that question. I am having regular discussions about these issues with health and social care partners, as is the Minister, including meetings in Swansea Bay last week. It is vital to prevent unnecessary admissions and transfer people from hospital to their homes or community settings as soon as they are ready.

Diolch i David Rees am ei gwestiwn. Fel y Gweinidog, rwy’n cael trafodaethau rheolaidd am y materion hyn gyda phartneriaid iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, gan gynnwys cyfarfodydd ym Mae Abertawe yr wythnos diwethaf. Mae'n hanfodol atal derbyniadau diangen, a throsglwyddo pobl o'r ysbyty i'w cartrefi neu leoliadau cymunedol cyn gynted ag y byddant yn barod.

Thank you for that answer, Deputy Minister. As the Minister found out for himself last week, when he visited the minor injury unit in Neath Port Talbot Hospital, there were, on that particular day, 125 patients in Morriston awaiting discharge who were physically fit to go out of hospital, but who were sitting there because they weren't able to get out. There's clearly a relationship with partners to make sure that care packages are in place, that care home places are available, or nursing home places are available, and that the adaptations are done. This is causing a problem, because we are always highlighting the fact that there are ambulances parked up outside hospitals and that accident and emergency departments are facing difficulties, but there's the flow through the hospitals and the discharges that are actually blocking everything up.

What are you actually doing to ensure that those departments and those social services, those partners, are actually doing the best they can? I know they're under pressure—I fully appreciate the pressures they're under—but they need to be able to ensure that those patients can get out as soon as possible so that the beds that they're occupying can be released to make sure that the flow through hospitals gets better.

Diolch am eich ateb, Ddirprwy Weinidog. Fel y darganfu’r Gweinidog drosto’i hun yr wythnos diwethaf, pan ymwelodd â’r uned mân anafiadau yn Ysbyty Castell-nedd Port Talbot, ar y diwrnod penodol hwnnw, roedd 125 o gleifion yn Nhreforys yn aros i gael eu rhyddhau am eu bod yn ddigon iach yn gorfforol i fynd o’r ysbyty, ond roeddent yn dal i eistedd yno am na allent adael. Mae'n amlwg fod perthynas i'w chael â phartneriaid i sicrhau bod pecynnau gofal ar waith, fod lleoedd ar gael mewn cartrefi gofal, neu gartrefi nyrsio, a bod yr addasiadau'n cael eu gwneud. Mae hyn yn peri problem, gan ein bod bob amser yn tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod ambiwlansys wedi'u parcio y tu allan i ysbytai a bod adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys yn wynebu anawsterau, ond y llif drwy'r ysbytai ac anawsterau wrth ryddhau cleifion sy'n blocio popeth mewn gwirionedd.

Beth a wnewch i sicrhau bod yr adrannau hynny a'r gwasanaethau cymdeithasol hynny, y partneriaid hynny, yn gwneud eu gorau glas? Gwn eu bod dan bwysau—rwy'n llwyr sylweddoli'r pwysau sydd arnynt—ond mae angen iddynt allu sicrhau y gall y cleifion adael cyn gynted â phosibl fel bod modd rhyddhau'r gwelyau er mwyn sicrhau bod y llif drwy ysbytai yn gwella.

Thank you, David Rees, for making those very important points. We do expect health boards to work together with local authorities and with the third sector to ensure that people do return home from hospital as soon as they are fit to do so, because I think we all know about the damage of people staying in hospital longer, as well as affecting the flow through the hospital. I know from recent visits, particularly to Swansea Bay, that there is a real commitment to do this.

So, we are putting effort and money in. We're supporting improvements through the national Every Day Counts programme and the discharge to recovery and assess pathways. We've invested in new initiatives through the integrated care fund and the transformation fund, where, of course, local authorities, health boards and the third sector all work together to come up with solutions.

The Swansea Bay region is putting in a number of measures, including through investing over £1 million in its hospital-to-home service, which they told me about in detail last week. That is supporting early discharge. These actions have led to improvements, so, certainly, in November and December the delayed transfers of care were reduced.

Diolch, David Rees, am godi'r pwyntiau pwysig iawn hynny. Rydym yn disgwyl i fyrddau iechyd weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol a chyda'r trydydd sector i sicrhau bod pobl yn dychwelyd adref o'r ysbyty cyn gynted ag y byddant yn iach i wneud hynny, gan y credaf fod pob un ohonom yn gwybod am y niwed i bobl sy'n aros yn hwy yn yr ysbyty, yn ogystal â'r effaith ar y llif drwy'r ysbyty. Gwn o ymweliadau diweddar, yn enwedig â Bae Abertawe, fod ymrwymiad gwirioneddol i wneud hyn.

Felly, rydym yn gwneud ymdrech ac yn darparu arian. Rydym yn cefnogi gwelliannau drwy raglen genedlaethol Every Day Counts a'r llwybrau rhyddhau i adfer ac asesu. Rydym wedi buddsoddi mewn mentrau newydd drwy'r gronfa gofal integredig a'r gronfa trawsnewid, lle mae awdurdodau lleol, byrddau iechyd a'r trydydd sector yn gweithio gyda'i gilydd, wrth gwrs, i ddod o hyd i atebion.

Mae rhanbarth Bae Abertawe yn rhoi nifer o fesurau ar waith, gan gynnwys drwy fuddsoddi dros £1 filiwn yn eu gwasanaeth ysbyty i'r cartref, y soniasant wrthyf yn fanwl amdano yr wythnos diwethaf. Mae hynny'n cefnogi rhyddhau cynnar. Mae'r camau hyn wedi arwain at welliannau, felly yn sicr, ym mis Tachwedd a mis Rhagfyr, gostyngwyd cyfraddau oedi wrth drosglwyddo gofal.

You mentioned the transformation fund, Minister, and the delayed discharges into community settings. One of the barriers is still around the whole area of funding, particularly if a person requires funding from both the health service and from the social services because of the mixed care package that they require. Quite often, there are—a kind way, perhaps, to describe it—marginal turf wars. People have got their own budgets, they've got to protect their budgets and they have to account for their budgets. I wondered what work is being done, through the transformation fund, particularly in 'A Healthier West Wales', where all of the organisations are supposedly coming together to deliver better outcomes for patients and getting them out of hospitals and back into community settings. I wonder if we're able to start learning some lessons about how we can resolve these funding issues, so that, whatever else happens, getting somebody out of a hospital and back into their home or into residential care—the block is not because of funding and who pays what element of the care that person requires. 

Fe sonioch chi am y gronfa trawsnewid, Weinidog, ac oedi wrth ryddhau i leoliadau cymunedol. Un o'r rhwystrau o hyd yw cyllido, yn enwedig os oes angen cyllid ar unigolyn gan y gwasanaeth iechyd a chan y gwasanaethau cymdeithasol oherwydd y pecyn gofal cymysg sydd ei angen arnynt. Yn eithaf aml, ceir mân ryfeloedd llwythol—sy'n ffordd garedig o'i ddisgrifio efallai. Mae gan bobl eu cyllidebau eu hunain, mae'n rhaid iddynt ddiogelu eu cyllidebau ac mae'n rhaid iddynt roi cyfrif am eu cyllidebau. Tybed pa waith sy'n mynd rhagddo, drwy'r gronfa trawsnewid, yn enwedig yn 'Gorllewin Cymru Iachach', lle mae'r holl sefydliadau i fod i ddod at ei gilydd i sicrhau gwell canlyniadau i gleifion a sicrhau eu bod yn gadael ysbytai ac yn mynd yn ôl i leoliadau cymunedol. Tybed a oes modd i ni ddechrau dysgu gwersi ynglŷn â sut y gallwn ddatrys y materion cyllido hyn, fel bod cael rhywun allan o'r ysbyty ac yn ôl i'w cartref neu i ofal preswyl, ni waeth beth arall sy'n digwydd—fel nad cyllid fydd yn achosi'r rhwystr, a phwy sy'n talu am ba elfen o'r gofal sydd ei angen ar yr unigolyn hwnnw.

14:30

Angela Burns is right, there is sometimes difficulty over those different elements of funding. But it's absolutely essential that the patient, the individual, is at the absolute centre of the way that decisions are made. And I know that there have been projects, under the transformation funding, looking at how that can develop, and I hope that we'll be able to learn through that. Continuing care is one issue that has to be addressed, and I think we've had a statement on that fairly recently, and I know that we are looking at certain elements of community care and reviewing them. 

Mae Angela Burns yn llygad ei lle, ceir anawsterau weithiau mewn perthynas â'r gwahanol elfennau hynny o gyllid. Ond mae'n gwbl hanfodol fod y claf, yr unigolyn, yn gwbl ganolog i'r ffordd y caiff penderfyniadau eu gwneud. A gwn fod rhai prosiectau, o dan y cyllid trawsnewid, wedi edrych ar sut y gall hynny ddatblygu, a gobeithiaf y bydd modd i ni ddysgu drwy hynny. Mae gofal parhaus yn un mater y mae'n rhaid mynd i'r afael ag ef, a chredaf ein bod wedi cael datganiad ar hynny'n weddol ddiweddar, a gwn ein bod yn edrych ar rai elfennau o ofal cymunedol ac yn eu hadolygu.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefaryddion y pleidiau. Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Helen Mary Jones. 

Questions now from the party spokespeople. Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Helen Mary Jones. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Does the Minister agree with the statement made by the First Minister yesterday in response to questions from Adam Price, when talking about pressures on the ambulance service? And I quote:

'The problem is not one that is soluble in the hands of the ambulance service alone...It is a whole-systems issue, in which we have to...clear people through the whole system so that, when the system comes under pressure, as...over the last few weeks, there is room at the front door.'

And does he further expect us to believe the First Minister when the First Minister told Adam Price that:

'we have resolved the problem...and the situation is much better than it was when I started as health Minister'?

Because I would submit, Llywydd, that is not the experience of my constituents who are served by Betsi Cadwaladr and by Hywel Dda health boards.

Diolch, Lywydd. A yw’r Gweinidog yn cytuno â’r datganiad a wnaed gan y Prif Weinidog ddoe mewn ymateb i gwestiynau gan Adam Price, wrth siarad am bwysau ar y gwasanaeth ambiwlans? A dyfynnaf:

'Nid yw'r broblem yn un y gellir ei datrys yn nwylo'r gwasanaeth ambiwlans yn unig... Mae'n fater systemau cyfan, lle mae'n rhaid i ni allu clirio pobl drwy'r system gyfan, fel y bydd lle wrth y drws ffrynt pan fydd y system yn dod dan bwysau, fel sydd wedi digwydd dros yr wythnosau diwethaf.'

Ac a yw’n disgwyl i ni gredu’r Prif Weinidog pan ddywedodd y Prif Weinidog wrth Adam Price:

'rŷn ni wedi datrys y broblem... ac mae'r sefyllfa lot yn well nag yr oedd hi pan roeddwn i'n dod i ddechrau fel Gweinidog dros Iechyd'?

Oherwydd buaswn yn awgrymu, Lywydd, nad dyna yw profiad fy etholwyr sy'n cael eu gwasanaethu gan fyrddau iechyd Betsi Cadwaladr a Hywel Dda.

Yes, I think the First Minister properly describes it as a whole-systems issue; it certainly is. That's been reinforced to me on the visits that I've had through the start of this winter period, in this calendar year already. And that's a change from just a few years ago, to go into emergency departments and not to have people saying, 'We need more consultants', but actually saying, 'We need more investment in social care.' So, it is definitely a whole-systems issue.

But also, I think when you look at where we are, then actually yes we have. If you look objectively at where we are in terms of delayed transfers of care, we are better now than when the First Minister started his time as the health Minister. We have a number of things that have improved within our system. Our challenge, as ever, is the rate of improvement we make in our health and care systems, and the ever-changing rate and nature of demand and need. And that is the constant challenge that we face in the health service, and it goes back into the questions and conversations we had yesterday around the transformation fund in its broader sense around healthcare. 

Ie, credaf fod y Prif Weinidog yn iawn i'w ddisgrifio fel mater system gyfan; mae hynny'n bendant yn wir. Mae'r ymweliadau rwyf wedi'u gwneud drwy ddechrau cyfnod y gaeaf, yn y flwyddyn galendr hon eisoes, wedi atgyfnerthu hynny i mi. Ac mae'n newid o'r hyn ydoedd ychydig flynyddoedd yn ôl, ac yn hytrach na chlywed pobl yn dweud pan fyddech yn mynd i mewn i adrannau brys, 'Mae angen mwy o feddygon ymgynghorol arnom', eu clywed yn dweud 'Mae angen mwy o fuddsoddiad mewn gofal cymdeithasol.' Felly, mae'n sicr yn fater system gyfan.

Ond hefyd, pan edrychwch ar ein sefyllfa, credaf fod gennym, mewn gwirionedd. Os edrychwch yn wrthrychol ar ein sefyllfa o ran oedi wrth drosglwyddo gofal, rydym yn well yn awr na phan ddechreuodd y Prif Weinidog ei gyfnod fel Gweinidog iechyd. Mae gennym nifer o bethau sydd wedi gwella yn ein system. Yr her i ni, fel bob amser, yw pa mor gyflym rydym yn gwneud gwelliannau yn ein systemau iechyd a gofal, a chyflymder a natur newidiol y galw a'r angen. A dyna'r her gyson sy'n ein hwynebu yn y gwasanaeth iechyd, ac mae'n gysylltiedig â'r cwestiynau a'r sgyrsiau a gawsom ddoe ynglŷn â'r gronfa trawsnewid yn ei hystyr ehangach mewn perthynas â gofal iechyd.

I'm grateful to the Minister for his response. I wish I could characterise it as adequate; I'm afraid I can't. I have been looking back at the Minister's statements around winter pressures over the past three years, and he always says the same things. He always talks about norovirus and flu, and he says the same things when you have a really challenging year, when you actually have lots of norovirus or flu, and he says the same things when, as in this year, in fact, the situation is not that challenging.

Now, he may be right that there are some aspects of the service in unscheduled care that have improved since the First Minister's time, but one thing that has not been solved is the interface between health and social care. Now, Llywydd, we all know that the portfolios for health and social care have been held in our Parliament by Welsh Ministers for the last 20 years. Can the Minister tell me, can he reassure us today, that we will not be having this same conversation in another year's time, let alone in another 20 years' time?

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ymateb. Hoffwn pe gallwn ei alw'n ddigonol; mae arnaf ofn na allaf wneud hynny. Rwyf wedi bod yn edrych yn ôl ar ddatganiadau'r Gweinidog ynghylch pwysau'r gaeaf dros y tair blynedd diwethaf, ac mae bob amser yn dweud yr un pethau. Mae bob amser yn sôn am norofeirws a'r ffliw, ac mae'n dweud yr un pethau pan fo gennych flwyddyn heriol iawn, pan fo gennych lawer o norofeirws neu'r ffliw mewn gwirionedd, ac mae'n dweud yr un pethau pan nad yw'r sefyllfa, fel eleni, mor heriol â hynny.

Nawr, efallai ei fod yn gywir fod rhai agweddau ar y gwasanaeth mewn gofal heb ei drefnu wedi gwella ers cyfnod y Prif Weinidog, ond un peth sydd heb ei ddatrys yw'r rhyng-gysylltiad rhwng iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol. Nawr, Lywydd, gŵyr pob un ohonom fod Gweinidogion Cymru yn ein Senedd wedi bod yn gyfrifol am y portffolios iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol am yr 20 mlynedd diwethaf. A all y Gweinidog ddweud wrthyf, a all roi sicrwydd i ni heddiw, na fyddwn yn cael yr un sgwrs ymhen blwyddyn arall, heb sôn am ymhen 20 mlynedd arall?

Well, I don't expect to be having this conversation in 20 years' time; I hope my life will have moved on to a different point by then.

But in terms of some of the things that you said, when you describe it as not being challenging, actually, the context in which we deliver health and care is challenging. And it isn't just related to the circulation of flu or norovirus or the weather; it is the changing nature and mood of our population. And in the statement that I issued earlier today, the fact that we've had a 23 per cent increase in red ambulance calls during that period—the sickest, the most unwell people—an increase of that nature from one winter to another, that is the sort of trend you'd expect to see over several years, not over one winter. So, the context is different. The increase is different. And it's not just me saying that; any and every part of the national health service in each of the four countries in the UK is describing the same ramping up in challenges and pressures.

And in terms of the staff that I've met, they understand very well the nature of those challenges they see coming through the door, and they don't describe it as, 'It's just the same as previous winters where the system can't cope.' So, you go back to the challenge about the interface between health and social care. And, again, we've made real progress. When you look at the work that partnership boards are doing and the way they used money, not just this winter, but the improvement in relationships—. It is because of those improvements and the interface between health and social care that we're seeing flow restored, that we see flow continuing in different parts of the country, in and out of the hospital. And we are more successful than ever at keeping people in their own home now as well.

But it's still, 'How do we get even further ahead?', and that's why we're looking over not just this winter, but into the next winter, about how we get further ahead and actually spend more, not just money together, but more to stabilise and improve the services on that interface between health and social care, to keep people in their own homes more successfully, and on the ways to get them out of hospitals, which is no longer the right place for their treatment.

Wel, nid wyf yn disgwyl cael y sgwrs hon ymhen 20 mlynedd; rwy'n gobeithio y bydd fy mywyd wedi symud ymlaen i bwynt gwahanol erbyn hynny.

Ond o ran rhai o'r pethau a ddywedoch chi, pan fyddwch yn dweud nad yw'n heriol, mewn gwirionedd, mae'r cyd-destun rydym yn darparu iechyd a gofal ynddo yn heriol. Ac nid yw'n gysylltiedig â'r ffliw neu norofeirws yn mynd ar led neu'r tywydd yn unig; mae'n ymwneud â natur newidiol a hwyliau ein poblogaeth. Ac yn y datganiad a gyhoeddais yn gynharach heddiw, y ffaith ein bod wedi cael cynnydd o 23 y cant mewn galwadau ambiwlans coch yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw—y bobl salaf, fwyaf gwael—cynnydd o'r natur honno o un gaeaf i'r llall, dyna'r math o duedd y byddech yn disgwyl ei gweld dros sawl blwyddyn, nid dros un gaeaf. Felly, mae'r cyd-destun yn wahanol. Mae'r cynnydd yn wahanol. Ac nid fi'n unig sy'n dweud hynny; mae pob rhan o'r gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol ym mhob un o bedair gwlad y DU yn disgrifio'r un cynnydd o ran heriau a phwysau.

Ac o ran y staff rwyf wedi cyfarfod â hwy, maent yn deall natur yr heriau a welant yn dod drwy'r drws yn dda iawn, ac nid ydynt yn eu disgrifio fel, 'Mae'n union yr un fath â gaeafau blaenorol lle na all y system ymdopi.' Felly, rydych yn dychwelyd at yr her ynghylch y rhyng-gysylltiad rhwng iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol. Ac unwaith eto, rydym wedi gwneud cryn dipyn o gynnydd. Pan edrychwch ar y gwaith y mae'r byrddau partneriaeth yn ei wneud a'r ffordd y maent wedi defnyddio arian, nid yn unig y gaeaf hwn, ond y gwelliant yn y berthynas—. O ganlyniad i'r gwelliannau hynny a'r rhyng-gysylltiad rhwng iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, rydym yn gweld y llif yn cael ei adfer, rydym yn gweld y llif yn parhau mewn gwahanol rannau o'r wlad, i mewn ac allan o'r ysbyty. Ac rydym yn fwy llwyddiannus nag erioed am gadw pobl yn eu cartrefi eu hunain bellach hefyd.

Serch hynny, rydym yn dal i ofyn, 'Sut rydym yn mynd hyd yn oed ymhellach?', a dyna pam ein bod yn edrych nid yn unig ar y gaeaf hwn, ond tuag at y gaeaf nesaf, o ran sut rydym yn mynd ymhellach ac yn gwario mwy, nid yn unig arian at ei gilydd, ond mwy i sefydlogi ac i wella'r gwasanaethau ar y rhyng-gysylltiad hwnnw rhwng iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, i gadw pobl yn eu cartrefi eu hunain yn fwy llwyddiannus, ac ar y ffyrdd i'w cael allan o ysbytai, pan nad dyna'r lle iawn ar gyfer eu triniaeth mwyach.

14:35

Well, the problem, of course, is, Llywydd, that nobody disbelieves the Minister when he's saying these things, but the problem is that he's been saying a variety of them, and his predecessors have been saying a variation on a theme. It may very well be, and I'm not questioning his figures, that we have, for example, had an exceptional number of vulnerable patients, but that begs the question about why those patients are becoming so vulnerable, why they're not receiving the care in the community that they ought to be receiving, and it brings us back to this whole issue of an abject failure to deliver the whole-systems approach.

We need to be very clear, Llywydd, that this is not an attack on the staff. We know that staff are doing excellent work. We also know that, in some places, local authorities are co-operating well or less well with their local health boards, and that where they are co-operating well that that is delivering change. But my question would be: where is the national leadership to scale up that change? Now, the Minister will no doubt talk again about the transformation fund, but I would again remind this Chamber that he or his party have been in charge of this for 20 years, and I am no more reassured by what he said this afternoon than I have been about all the other things that he's said over the preceding years. 

But I want to bring us back to a specific. So, the Minister has just acknowledged, as the First Minister said, that one of the issues around discharging patients from ambulances into hospitals—one of the reasons for the pressures—is that there is a need for a whole-systems approach. So, I'm a little bit surprised in that regard that the Minister has decided to set up yet another task and finish group to review the ambulance service. If the problems are not in the ambulance service but are actually in social care, in delayed transfers of care—and I would argue in the capacity that's been stripped out of the system—why is it going to be helpful to have yet another review of the ambulance service, which on other occasions he's told me is perfectly all right? I am somewhat at a loss. 

I'm not particularly interested to hear what the Minister says to defend the decision, to be completely honest. But what I would ask him factually is: who are the members of this task and finish review going to be? He's told us who the chair and the vice-chair are going to be—or joint chairs, I apologise. Well, who are the members of this going to be? How is the voice of patients,  and particularly the most vulnerable patients like older people and people with learning disabilities, going to be heard in this review? And when does he expect it to report? Because I think we're all losing patience with task and finish groups and reviews. What I would like to see is a health Minister who's prepared to make a decision. 

Wel, y broblem, wrth gwrs, Lywydd, yw nad oes unrhyw un yn amau'r Gweinidog pan fo'n dweud y pethau hyn, ond y broblem yw ei fod wedi bod yn dweud amrywiaeth ohonynt, ac mae ei ragflaenwyr wedi bod yn dweud amrywiadau ar y thema. Efallai'n wir, ac nid wyf yn cwestiynu ei ffigurau, fod gennym, er enghraifft, nifer anarferol o gleifion agored i niwed, ond mae hynny'n arwain at y cwestiwn pam fod y cleifion hynny'n dod mor agored i niwed, pam nad ydynt yn derbyn y gofal yn y gymuned y dylent fod yn ei gael, a daw â ni'n ôl at holl fater y methiant llwyr i sicrhau dull system gyfan.

Mae angen i ni ddweud yn glir iawn, Lywydd, nad ymosodiad ar y staff mo hwn. Gwyddom fod y staff yn gwneud gwaith rhagorol. Gwyddom hefyd fod awdurdodau lleol, mewn rhai lleoedd, yn cydweithredu'n dda neu ddim cystal â'u byrddau iechyd lleol, a lle maent yn cydweithredu'n dda, fod hynny'n sicrhau newid. Ond fy nghwestiwn fyddai: ble mae'r arweinyddiaeth genedlaethol i ddarparu'r newid hwnnw ar raddfa fwy? Nawr, heb os, bydd y Gweinidog yn siarad eto am y gronfa trawsnewid, ond hoffwn atgoffa'r Siambr eto ei fod ef neu ei blaid wedi bod yn gyfrifol am hyn ers 20 mlynedd, ac nid yw'r hyn a ddywedodd y prynhawn yma yn rhoi mwy o sicrwydd i mi na'r holl bethau eraill y mae wedi'u dweud dros y blynyddoedd blaenorol.

Ond hoffwn ddychwelyd at un peth penodol. Felly, mae'r Gweinidog newydd gydnabod, fel y dywedodd y Prif Weinidog, mai un o'r problemau mewn perthynas â rhyddhau cleifion o ambiwlansys i ysbytai—un o'r rhesymau dros y pwysau—yw bod angen dull system gyfan. Felly, rwy'n synnu braidd yn hynny o beth fod y Gweinidog wedi penderfynu sefydlu grŵp gorchwyl a gorffen arall eto fyth i adolygu'r gwasanaeth ambiwlans. Os nad yn y gwasanaeth ambiwlans y mae'r problemau mewn gwirionedd, ond mewn gofal cymdeithasol, gydag oedi wrth drosglwyddo gofal—a'r capasiti sydd wedi'i ddileu o'r system, buaswn yn dadlau—pam y bydd cael adolygiad arall eto fyth o'r gwasanaeth ambiwlans yn ddefnyddiol, rhywbeth y mae wedi dweud wrthyf ar adegau eraill ei fod yn berffaith iawn? Rwyf wedi drysu braidd.

Nid oes gennyf ddiddordeb arbennig mewn clywed yr hyn y mae'r Gweinidog yn ei ddweud i amddiffyn y penderfyniad, a bod yn gwbl onest. Ond yr hyn y buaswn yn ei ofyn iddo'n ffeithiol yw: pwy fydd aelodau'r adolygiad gorchwyl a gorffen hwn? Mae wedi dweud wrthym pwy fydd y cadeirydd a'r is-gadeirydd—neu gyd-gadeiryddion, rwy'n ymddiheuro. Wel, pwy fydd yr aelodau? Sut y bydd llais cleifion, ac yn enwedig y cleifion mwyaf agored i niwed fel pobl hŷn a phobl ag anableddau dysgu, yn cael ei glywed yn yr adolygiad? A phryd y mae'n disgwyl iddo adrodd? Oherwydd credaf fod pob un ohonom yn colli amynedd gydag adolygiadau a grwpiau gorchwyl a gorffen. Yr hyn yr hoffwn ei weld yw Gweinidog iechyd sy'n barod i wneud penderfyniad.

I make decisions every single day in this office. I've made a number of decisions about directing the future of the service, not just the overarching 10-year plan in 'A Healthier Wales' but many more, as the Member knows. I appreciate there's a sense of theatre to this, but every now and again we should try and deal with some of the more realistic elements of what we're dealing with in the service. 

When you talk about why are patients so vulnerable, we know very well why lots of our patients are more vulnerable now than in previous years. It's part of our success story of keeping people alive for longer. It's also partly about the challenge of the burden of ill health and disease that is not a part of the natural ageing process. So, the Member knows that very well.

When it comes to capacity being stripped out of the system, we haven't stripped necessarily capacity out of the system. Our challenge is our ability to increase it across the whole system to the extent that it is then properly sustainable to deliver the care that we need. And, actually, if you looked at any objective commentators about where that capacity exists, then I don't think they share the Member's analysis.

And when it comes to the task force that I have set up, you know very well who the chairs are, and I'll announce all of the members who are taking part in that in due course. I expect them to report to me to make early suggestions before the end of this winter period, so before the end of March. I expect to have the full measure of that within a period of three months or so. I have not set something up to take six to 12 months to avoid the challenge. I am interested in some advice and some challenge about how we do this across the whole system.

I think the Member has misunderstood this about just being focused on the ambulance service. It's actually about improving ambulance availability, and that requires a look at the whole system. I look forward to being able to report back on that properly to Members once that advice is available to me.

Rwy'n gwneud penderfyniadau bob dydd yn y swydd hon. Rwyf wedi gwneud nifer o benderfyniadau ynglŷn â chyfarwyddo dyfodol y gwasanaeth, nid yn unig y cynllun trosfwaol 10 mlynedd yn 'Cymru Iachach' ond llawer mwy, fel y gŵyr yr Aelod. Rwy'n derbyn bod yna ymdeimlad o theatr yn perthyn i hyn, ond o bryd i'w gilydd, dylem geisio ymwneud â rhai o elfennau mwy realistig yr hyn rydym yn ymdrin ag ef yn y gwasanaeth.

Pan fyddwch yn sôn ynglŷn â pham fod cleifion mor agored i niwed, gwyddom yn iawn pam fod llawer o'n cleifion yn fwy agored i niwed yn awr nag yn y blynyddoedd a fu. Mae'n rhan o'n hanes llwyddiannus o gadw pobl yn fyw am fwy o amser. Mae hefyd yn ymwneud, yn rhannol, â her baich afiechyd a chlefydau nad ydynt rhan o'r broses o heneiddio'n naturiol. Felly, mae'r Aelod yn gwybod hynny'n iawn.

O ran dileu capasiti o'r system, nid ydym wedi dileu capasiti o'r system o reidrwydd. Yr her i ni yw ein gallu i'w gynyddu ar draws y system gyfan i'r graddau ei fod yn ddigon cynaliadwy wedyn i ddarparu'r gofal sydd ei angen arnom. Ac mewn gwirionedd, pe baech yn holi unrhyw sylwebyddion gwrthrychol ynglŷn â ble mae'r capasiti hwnnw'n bodoli, ni chredaf y byddent yn cytuno â dadansoddiad yr Aelod.

Ac o ran y tasglu a sefydlais, fe wyddoch yn iawn pwy yw'r cadeiryddion, a byddaf yn cyhoeddi'r holl aelodau a fydd yn rhan ohono maes o law. Rwy'n disgwyl iddynt adrodd i mi er mwyn gwneud awgrymiadau cynnar cyn diwedd y gaeaf hwn, felly cyn diwedd mis Mawrth. Rwy'n disgwyl cael syniad cadarn o hynny o fewn cyfnod o oddeutu tri mis. Nid wyf wedi sefydlu rhywbeth i gymryd chwech i 12 mis er mwyn osgoi'r her. Mae gennyf ddiddordeb mewn cael cyngor a her ynglŷn â sut i wneud hyn ar draws y system gyfan.

Credaf fod yr Aelod wedi camddeall bod hyn yn ymwneud â chanolbwyntio ar y gwasanaeth ambiwlans yn unig. Mewn gwirionedd, mae'n ymwneud â gwella argaeledd ambiwlansys, ac mae angen edrych ar y system gyfan er mwyn gwneud hynny. Edrychaf ymlaen at allu adrodd yn ôl ar hynny'n iawn i'r Aelodau pan fydd y cyngor hwnnw ar gael i mi.

14:40

Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Janet Finch-Saunders. 

Conservative spokesperson, Janet Finch-Saunders.

Diolch, Llywydd. There is absolutely no doubt that we have a selfless army of 370,000 unpaid carers in Wales. In November 2017, the Welsh Government announced that one of its priorities to support the delivery of the enhanced rights of carers under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 was to support life alongside caring. 

On Carers Rights Day 2018, the Welsh Government announced a £15 million investment in preventative services that support adults with care needs and carers who need support. On Carers Rights Day 2019, your Government announced that you will be developing a national action plan this year to strengthen the national co-ordination of support for carers. Evidence has emerged showing that 59 per cent of carers in Wales stated that, over the festive period, they really struggled, and 45 per cent are struggling even to make ends meet.

The director of Carers Wales has commented that carers across Wales sacrifice so much looking after a loved one, yet their contribution to society goes largely unnoticed and under-appreciated.  What actions are you taking, Deputy Minister or Minister, to ensure that the new national action plan you're going to be working on will address this?

Diolch, Lywydd. Nid oes unrhyw amheuaeth fod gennym fyddin anhunanol o 370,000 o ofalwyr di-dâl yng Nghymru. Ym mis Tachwedd 2017, cyhoeddodd Llywodraeth Cymru mai un o’i blaenoriaethau er mwyn cefnogi'r gwaith o sicrhau gwell hawliau i ofalwyr o dan Ddeddf Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) 2014 oedd cefnogi bywyd ochr yn ochr â gofalu.

Ar Ddiwrnod Hawliau Gofalwyr 2018, cyhoeddodd Llywodraeth Cymru fuddsoddiad o £15 miliwn mewn gwasanaethau ataliol sy'n cefnogi oedolion ag anghenion gofal a gofalwyr sydd angen cefnogaeth. Ar Ddiwrnod Hawliau Gofalwyr 2019, cyhoeddodd eich Llywodraeth y byddwch yn datblygu cynllun gweithredu cenedlaethol eleni i gryfhau cydgysylltiad cenedlaethol cymorth i ofalwyr. Mae tystiolaeth wedi dod i'r amlwg sy'n dangos bod 59 y cant o ofalwyr yng Nghymru wedi nodi eu bod, dros gyfnod y Nadolig, wedi'i chael hi'n anodd iawn, a bod 45 y cant yn ei chael hi'n anodd cael deupen llinyn ynghyd, hyd yn oed.

Mae cyfarwyddwr Gofalwyr Cymru wedi nodi bod gofalwyr ledled Cymru yn aberthu cymaint wrth ofalu am rywun annwyl, ond caiff eu cyfraniad i gymdeithas ei anwybyddu i raddau helaeth, ac ni chaiff ei werthfawrogi'n ddigonol. Pa gamau a roddwch ar waith, Ddirprwy Weinidog neu Weinidog, i sicrhau y bydd y cynllun gweithredu cenedlaethol newydd y byddwch yn gweithio arno yn mynd i'r afael â hyn?

I thank Janet Finch-Saunders for that very important question. I think we all appreciate the huge contribution that carers make—the 370,000 that she referred to—and we want to make their lives as easy as we possibly can.

She mentioned that one of the Welsh Government's priorities was life alongside caring. It's also to ensure that carers can identify themselves as carers and that we know them as carers, so that any help that is available they can access. And we also want to be sure that there is advice and information available for them. And those are our three priorities, and we have supported those priorities through a series of funding initiatives, and we have also re-emphasised the ministerial advisory group—the group that is advising the carers group.

I'm also aware that the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee has had an extensive investigation into carers and have 31 recommendations for the Government, which we will be responding to shortly. So, I can assure her that carers are very much on our minds and that we are addressing their issues.

Diolch i Janet Finch-Saunders am ei chwestiwn pwysig iawn. Credaf fod pob un ohonom yn gwerthfawrogi'r cyfraniad enfawr y mae gofalwyr yn ei wneud—y 370,000 y cyfeiriodd atynt—ac rydym am sicrhau bod eu bywydau mor hawdd ag y gallwn.

Soniodd mai un o flaenoriaethau Llywodraeth Cymru oedd bywyd ochr yn ochr â gofalu. Mae'n ymwneud hefyd â sicrhau bod gofalwyr yn gallu dweud eu bod yn ofalwyr a'n bod yn eu hadnabod fel gofalwyr, fel eu bod yn gallu cael mynediad at unrhyw gymorth sydd ar gael iddynt. Ac rydym am sicrhau hefyd fod cyngor a gwybodaeth ar gael ar eu cyfer. A dyna ein tair blaenoriaeth, ac rydym wedi cefnogi'r blaenoriaethau hynny drwy gyfres o fentrau cyllido, ac rydym wedi rhoi pwyslais o'r newydd ar y grŵp cynghori gweinidogol—y grŵp sy'n cynghori'r grŵp gofalwyr.

Rwy'n ymwybodol hefyd fod y Pwyllgor Iechyd, Gofal Cymdeithasol a Chwaraeon wedi cynnal ymchwiliad helaeth i ofalwyr a bod ganddynt 31 o argymhellion ar gyfer y Llywodraeth, a byddwn yn ymateb iddynt cyn bo hir. Felly, gallaf roi sicrwydd iddi ein bod yn rhoi ystyriaeth drylwyr i ofalwyr a'n bod yn mynd i'r afael â'u problemau.

Thank you, Deputy Minister, I do appreciate your efforts in this regard, but we have to face facts: more than any other nation in the UK, Wales is very dependent on its carers. The percentage of adults who have been carers during their adult life was found to be 63 per cent in England, 65 per cent in Scotland, 66 per cent in Northern Ireland, yet 70 per cent in Wales.

Part 3 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014—and I sat through the scrutiny of this—placed a duty on a local authority to offer an assessment to any carer. When considering the data for the number of assessments undertaken, it would seem that there is a positive trend, with the numbers going up from 6,178 in 2016-17 to 7,261 in 2018-19. This isn't good enough. Looking at the situation in some detail, I have found that the number of assessments in Wales has actually fallen in seven local authorities. 

When considering Carers Trust findings that the number of carers will increase in the UK by around 60 per cent by 2030, we should actually be seeing an increase in these assessments, not a decrease. So, will you, as Deputy Minister with responsibility for this, investigate why this is not the case in almost 40 per cent of our local authorities, and ascertain whether some carers are missing out on what is, in fact, a statutory right for their assessment?

Diolch, Ddirprwy Weinidog, rwy'n gwerthfawrogi eich ymdrechion yn hyn o beth, ond mae'n rhaid inni wynebu'r ffeithiau: yn fwy nag unrhyw genedl arall yn y DU, mae Cymru'n ddibynnol iawn ar ei gofalwyr. Canfuwyd bod canran yr oedolion sydd wedi bod yn ofalwyr yn ystod eu bywydau fel oedolion yn 63 y cant yn Lloegr, yn 65 y cant yn yr Alban, yn 66 y cant yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, ond yn 70 y cant yng Nghymru.

Roedd Rhan 3 o Ddeddf Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) 2014—ac roeddwn yn bresennol yn ystod y broses o graffu arni—yn gosod dyletswydd ar awdurdod lleol i gynnig asesiad i unrhyw ofalwr. Wrth ystyried y data ar nifer yr asesiadau a gynhaliwyd, ymddengys fod yna duedd gadarnhaol, gyda'r niferoedd yn codi o 6,178 yn 2016-17 i 7,261 yn 2018-19. Nid yw'n ddigon da. O edrych ar y sefyllfa'n fwy manwl, darganfûm fod nifer yr asesiadau yng Nghymru wedi gostwng mewn saith awdurdod lleol mewn gwirionedd.

Wrth ystyried canfyddiadau’r Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr y bydd nifer y gofalwyr yn y DU yn cynyddu oddeutu 60 y cant erbyn 2030, dylem fod yn gweld cynnydd yn yr asesiadau hyn, nid gostyngiad. Felly, a wnewch chi, fel y Dirprwy Weinidog sydd â chyfrifoldeb am hyn, edrych i weld pam nad yw hyn yn digwydd mewn bron i 40 y cant o'n hawdurdodau lleol, a gweld a oes rhai gofalwyr yn cael eu hamddifadu o'u hawl statudol i asesiad?

It was groundbreaking, in the Act that Janet Finch-Saunders referred to, that carers had a right to a carers assessment, and we want to ensure that as many carers as possible get access to that right. That's why one of our priorities is identifying carers and for carers to self-identify, because many people carry out the role of caring for a loved person and don't identify themselves as a carer. So, I think it's very important that we emphasise who is a carer and what help is available. And of course, I think we have to accept as well that some carers don't want an assessment. But I accept what she's saying and I think we've seen from all the reports that have come from the Carers Trust and from other organisations that there are people who are not getting the service that we would wish, as a Government, for them to have. And that's why we are putting more resources into projects related to caring, and the sustainable social services grants that will be announced fairly soon give significant funding to carer organisations, and we do intend to increase our support.

Roedd yn arloesol, yn y Ddeddf y cyfeiriodd Janet Finch-Saunders ati, fod gan ofalwyr hawl i asesiad gofalwr, ac rydym am sicrhau bod cymaint o ofalwyr â phosibl yn cael arfer yr hawl honno. Dyna pam mai un o'n blaenoriaethau yw nodi pwy sy'n ofalwyr ac i ofalwyr nodi drostynt eu hunain eu bod yn ofalwyr, gan fod llawer o bobl yn cyflawni'r rôl o ofalu am rywun annwyl heb nodi eu bod yn ofalwyr. Felly, credaf ei bod yn bwysig iawn ein bod yn pwysleisio pwy sy'n ofalwr a pha gymorth sydd ar gael. Ac wrth gwrs, credaf fod yn rhaid i ni dderbyn hefyd nad yw rhai gofalwyr yn dymuno cael asesiad. Ond rwy'n derbyn yr hyn y mae'n ei ddweud a chredaf ein bod wedi gweld o'r holl adroddiadau a gafwyd gan yr Ymddiriedolaeth Gofalwyr a chan sefydliadau eraill nad yw rhai pobl yn cael y gwasanaeth yr hoffem ni, fel Llywodraeth, eu gweld yn ei gael. A dyna pam ein bod yn rhoi mwy o adnoddau tuag at brosiectau sy'n ymwneud â gofalu, ac mae'r grantiau gwasanaethau cymdeithasol cynaliadwy a fydd yn cael eu cyhoeddi cyn bo hir yn rhoi cyllid sylweddol i sefydliadau gofalwyr, ac rydym yn bwriadu cynyddu ein cefnogaeth.

14:45

Thank you. I'd just like to emphasise once again that it's the number of assessments—when carers do present and want those assessments and they're not able to access them. Since the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, I think it's even more important that your Government isn't failing on those.

Now, social care demands such as providing support for carers and looked-after children and meeting domiciliary care needs are placing local authorities under huge financial pressure. For example, it is partly because of social care and children's services demands that Monmouthshire local authority is facing a £4 million deficit this year. Conwy County Borough Council, my own local authority, is forecasting a financial deficit of £12.5 million for the next financial year. Whilst the draft budget allocates £40 million via a special grant to local authorities to address pressures in social care in 2020-21, the £30 million allocated via grants to local authorities last year did not succeed in addressing these pressures in social care. So, I suppose it's a really obvious question on my part: why do you think that £40 million is going to be enough to actually help these local authorities meet their duties, especially including those owed to carers and looked-after children? 

Diolch. Hoffwn bwysleisio unwaith eto mai nifer yr asesiadau—pan fydd gofalwyr yn awyddus i gael yr asesiadau ac yn methu eu cael. Ers Deddf Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol a Llesiant (Cymru) 2014, credaf ei bod hyd yn oed yn bwysicach nad yw eich Llywodraeth yn gwneud cam â'r rheini.

Nawr, mae gofynion gofal cymdeithasol fel darparu cefnogaeth i ofalwyr a phlant sy'n derbyn gofal a diwallu anghenion gofal cartref yn rhoi pwysau ariannol enfawr ar awdurdodau lleol. Er enghraifft, mae awdurdod lleol Sir Fynwy yn wynebu diffyg o £4 miliwn eleni, yn rhannol o ganlyniad i ofynion gofal cymdeithasol a gwasanaethau plant. Mae Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Conwy, fy awdurdod lleol i, yn rhagweld diffyg ariannol o £12.5 miliwn ar gyfer y flwyddyn ariannol nesaf. Er bod y gyllideb ddrafft yn dyrannu £40 miliwn drwy grant arbennig i awdurdodau lleol ar gyfer mynd i'r afael â phwysau mewn gofal cymdeithasol yn 2020-21, ni lwyddodd y £30 miliwn a ddyrannwyd drwy grantiau i awdurdodau lleol y llynedd i fynd i'r afael â'r pwysau hyn mewn gofal cymdeithasol. Felly, mae'n debyg ei fod yn gwestiwn amlwg iawn ar fy rhan: pam eich bod yn meddwl y bydd £40 miliwn yn ddigon i helpu'r awdurdodau lleol hyn i gyflawni eu dyletswyddau, yn enwedig o gynnwys eu dyletswyddau tuag at ofalwyr a phlant sy'n derbyn gofal?

Certainly, the £30 million was used very effectively by local authorities. The decision as to how it was actually used was left largely to the local authorities, because they are closer to their needs. But certainly, we know of the sorts of issues that they used that £30 million for: nine local authorities utilised this funding to support adult and older people's services; eight local authorities used the funding to support domiciliary care for older people; and eleven local authorities used a portion to increase wages across the sector which, of course, is an issue—the wage levels that exist in the social care sector. And so, I'm very pleased that we've been able to give an extra £10 million to local authorities for them to use in these sorts of ways I've described, and in any other ways that they feel are going to help, because we absolutely accept that there is pressure on the social care sector.

It's crucially important to the people of Wales that we are able to provide them with adequate care when they need it, and that's why we have a whole variety of initiatives to try to tackle these issues. We've mentioned the transformation funds and the integrated care fund, and all those are used to have integrated working to help the social care sector. And I absolutely acknowledge the issue about children, and that is one of the reasons why we are working to try to keep children at home with their families, where we put in extra support to try to help them stay there rather than have to go into care. So, we have got a whole host of initiatives, but I absolutely accept that there is more that we need to do. 

Yn sicr, defnyddiwyd y £30 miliwn yn effeithiol iawn gan awdurdodau lleol. I raddau helaeth, gadawyd y penderfyniad ynglŷn â sut y byddai'n cael ei ddefnyddio i'r awdurdodau lleol, gan eu bod yn agosach at eu hanghenion. Ond yn sicr, gwyddom am y mathau o faterion y gwnaethant ddefnyddio'r £30 miliwn hwnnw ar eu cyfer: defnyddiodd naw awdurdod lleol y cyllid i gefnogi gwasanaethau oedolion a phobl hŷn; defnyddiodd wyth awdurdod lleol y cyllid i gefnogi gofal cartref i bobl hŷn; a defnyddiodd un ar ddeg o awdurdodau lleol gyfran i gynyddu cyflogau ar draws y sector, sy'n broblem, wrth gwrs—y lefelau cyflog sy'n bodoli yn y sector gofal cymdeithasol. Ac felly, rwy'n falch iawn ein bod wedi gallu rhoi £10 miliwn ychwanegol i awdurdodau lleol iddynt ei ddefnyddio yn y mathau o ffyrdd a ddisgrifiais, ac mewn unrhyw ffyrdd eraill y teimlant y byddant o gymorth, gan ein bod yn derbyn yn llwyr fod yna bwysau ar y sector gofal cymdeithasol.

Mae'n hanfodol bwysig i bobl Cymru ein bod yn gallu darparu gofal digonol iddynt pan fydd ei angen arnynt, a dyna pam fod gennym amrywiaeth eang o fentrau i geisio mynd i'r afael â'r materion hyn. Rydym wedi sôn am y cronfeydd trawsnewid a'r gronfa gofal integredig, ac mae'r rheini'n cael eu defnyddio i sicrhau y ceir gweithio integredig er mwyn helpu'r sector gofal cymdeithasol. Ac rwy'n llwyr gydnabod y mater ynglŷn â phlant, a dyna un o'r rhesymau pam ein bod yn gweithio i geisio cadw plant gartref gyda'u teuluoedd, lle rydym yn rhoi cefnogaeth ychwanegol i geisio eu cynorthwyo i aros yno'n hytrach na gorfod mynd yn rhan o'r system ofal. Felly, mae gennym lu o fentrau, ond rwy'n derbyn yn llwyr fod angen i ni wneud mwy.

Llefarydd Plaid Brexit, Mark Reckless. 

Brexit Party spokesperson, Mark Reckless. 

Diolch, Llywydd. 

Minister, I wanted to enquire about the thinking behind how our pay scales for hospital doctors differ from those in England, and the impact that this has on recruitment and retention. I note that, for the first-year foundation doctors, our scales are between £1,300 and £1,500 higher per year than in England, but don't doctors look through that and see that at the end of that foundation year as they go into the second foundation year, in England they get approximately a £2,800 increase compared to only £700 in Wales? That then leaves them around £600 per year less than equivalents would get in England. And that continues to the specialty registrars, where they start about £600 less than in England, and then at the top of the highest pay point, it's about £1,000 less than in England. When I speak with doctors in Wales, I often find that their perception of the difference between the pay scales and an idea that somehow pay is significantly less in Wales is out of all proportion to the   relatively small amount of those differences I've just described, and I wonder if, therefore, there may be a negative impact on recruitment and retention, which is out of all proportion to the modest amount of savings made by the lower pay scales I've described.

Diolch, Lywydd.

Weinidog, roeddwn yn awyddus i holi am y meddylfryd sy'n sail i'r rheswm pam fod ein graddfeydd cyflog ar gyfer meddygon mewn ysbytai yn wahanol i'r rheini a geir yn Lloegr, a'r effaith y mae hyn yn ei chael ar recriwtio a chadw staff. Ar gyfer meddygon sylfaen y flwyddyn gyntaf, nodaf fod ein graddfeydd rhwng £1,300 a £1,500 yn uwch y flwyddyn nag yn Lloegr, ond onid yw meddygon yn edrych y tu hwnt i hynny ac yn gweld, ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn sylfaen honno wrth iddynt fynd i mewn i'r ail flwyddyn sylfaen, eu bod yn cael cynnydd o oddeutu £2,800 yn Lloegr o gymharu â £700 yn unig yng Nghymru? Mae hynny wedyn yn gadael oddeutu £600 y flwyddyn yn llai iddynt nag y byddai meddygon cyfatebol yn ei gael yn Lloegr. Ac mae hynny'n parhau hyd at gofrestryddion arbenigol, lle maent yn dechrau ar oddeutu £600 yn llai nag yn Lloegr, ac yna ar frig y pwynt cyflog uchaf, mae'r cyflog oddeutu £1,000 yn llai nag yn Lloegr. Pan fyddaf yn siarad â meddygon yng Nghymru, rwy'n aml yn gweld bod eu canfyddiad o'r gwahaniaeth rhwng y graddfeydd cyflog a'r syniad fod cyflog rywsut yn sylweddol is yng Nghymru yn gwbl anghymesur â'r gwahaniaethau cymharol fychan hynny rwyf newydd eu disgrifio, a tybed, felly, a yw hynny'n awgrymu effaith negyddol ar recriwtio a chadw staff, sy'n gwbl anghymesur â'r swm cymedrol o arbedion a wneir yn sgil y graddfeydd cyflog is a ddisgrifiais.

14:50

There are two points that I think I should make. The first is that, in the thinking that lies behind the pay arrangements, that's a matter of negotiation between the Government, NHS employers, and the recognised trade union, the BMA, so, there's a range of things to take into account with that. Obviously, from the industrial side, you expect they'll want to get the very best possible deal for their members, but also there's the balancing of what the system can afford and there's what that does in terms of recruitment and retention. And there is some sensitivity about differential scales, potentially, on either side of the borders. There's a bit of divergence, obviously, at the junior end of the scale because of the contract that was imposed in England. And, actually, in our very direct engagement with the BMA and their juniors' committee, they were really clear that they thought that we'd done the right thing in not following suit.

We've agreed, as part of the normal way, that we will continue to negotiate both the longer term challenges about consultants' pay, where I think it would be preferable to take a multi-nation approach, but that's something to discuss and to talk about, together with a review on the juniors' contract position here in Wales. There's certainly no agenda given to try to somehow save a small amount of money and to risk recruitment and retention, because, actually, doctors look at a much wider suite of things: they look at training, they look at excellence, the future of the services and whether they believe that that's somewhere they actually want to work. That's why we have a campaign, 'Train. Work. Live.', because all of those aspects make a difference to where a whole range of health professionals choose to locate themselves for their careers.

Mae dau bwynt y credaf y dylwn eu gwneud. Y cyntaf yw, o ran y meddylfryd y tu ôl i'r trefniadau cyflog, mae hynny'n fater a negodir rhwng y Llywodraeth, cyflogwyr y GIG, a'r undeb llafur cydnabyddedig, Cymdeithas Feddygol Prydain, felly ceir ystod o bethau i'w hystyried gyda hynny. Yn amlwg, o'r ochr ddiwydiannol, rydych yn disgwyl y byddent yn awyddus i gael y cytundeb gorau posibl i'w haelodau, ond hefyd mae angen cydbwyso'r hyn y gall y system ei fforddio a'r hyn y mae hynny'n ei wneud o ran recriwtio a chadw staff. A cheir rhywfaint o sensitifrwydd mewn perthynas â graddfeydd gwahaniaethol o bosibl, ar bob ochr i'r ffin. Ceir ychydig o wahaniaeth, yn amlwg, ar ben iau'r raddfa oherwydd y contract a roddwyd ar waith yn Lloegr. Ac mewn gwirionedd, wrth i ni ymgysylltu'n uniongyrchol iawn â Chymdeithas Feddygol Prydain a'u pwyllgor meddygon iau, roeddent yn gwbl glir eu bod o'r farn ein bod wedi gwneud y peth iawn yn peidio â gwneud yr un peth.

Rydym wedi cytuno, fel rhan o'r ffordd arferol, y byddwn yn parhau i negodi'r heriau tymor hwy o ran cyflog meddygon ymgynghorol, lle credaf y byddai'n well mabwysiadu ymagwedd amlwladol, ond mae hynny'n rhywbeth i'w drafod ac i siarad amdano, ynghyd ag adolygiad o'r sefyllfa parthed contract y meddygon iau yma yng Nghymru. Yn sicr, ni cheir agenda i geisio arbed ychydig o arian ac i beryglu'r gwaith o recriwtio a chadw staff, oherwydd mewn gwirionedd, mae meddygon yn edrych ar gyfres lawer ehangach o bethau: maent yn edrych ar hyfforddiant, maent yn edrych ar ragoriaeth, dyfodol y gwasanaethau ac a ydynt yn credu ei fod yn rhywle y maent yn dymuno gweithio ynddo mewn gwirionedd. Dyna pam fod gennym ymgyrch, 'Hyfforddi. Gweithio. Byw.', gan fod yr holl agweddau hynny'n gwneud gwahaniaeth i ble mae ystod gyfan o weithwyr iechyd proffesiynol yn dewis dilyn gyrfa.

I thank the Minister for his reply. If I may turn to the particular issue in light of that of pensions, I think it was when the Minister was standing in for the First Minister at a previous First Minister's questions that I asked him about what had happened in England to pay those extra costs that doctors were finding and would we be doing similar in Wales. I see that we now are doing so; there's been a ministerial direction for that to happen.

But I just wondered if I could highlight a key difference between what we're doing in Wales and the position for the UK Government for England, as I raised with the Finance Minister earlier in committee, in that, for the UK Government, it is essentially an accounting transaction between the NHS for England and the Treasury. Whereas, for us in Wales, don't we face the same cliff edge that doctors face themselves, and they choose not to take on extra sessions, because the impacts on their pensions of those extra sessions are so much greater that it costs them money to do so? And the marginal costs of those sessions are huge because of the way that they interact with the pension system. Isn't that also the case for Welsh Government if they choose to pay that tax? And is it a cost-effective way, certainly, of anything beyond the very short term, of our spending Welsh taxpayers' money on these very substantial sums to pay pension tax to UK Government when we're only getting modest increases in the number of sessions delivered by doctors out of that?

Diolch i'r Gweinidog am ei ateb. Os caf droi at fater penodol pensiynau, credaf mai pan fu'r Gweinidog yn dirprwyo dros y Prif Weinidog mewn cwestiynau blaenorol i'r Prif Weinidog y gofynnais iddo am yr hyn a ddigwyddodd yn Lloegr i dalu'r costau ychwanegol hynny i feddygon, ac a fyddem yn gwneud yr un peth yng Nghymru. Rwy'n gweld ein bod yn gwneud hynny bellach; cafwyd cyfarwyddyd gweinidogol i hynny ddigwydd.

Ond tybed a gaf fi dynnu sylw at wahaniaeth allweddol rhwng yr hyn a wnawn yng Nghymru a'r sefyllfa i Lywodraeth y DU yn Lloegr, fel y crybwyllais wrth y Gweinidog Cyllid yn gynharach yn y pwyllgor, yn yr ystyr mai trafodiad cyfrifyddu rhwng GIG Lloegr a'r Trysorlys ydyw i Lywodraeth y DU yn y bôn. Ar y llaw arall, i ni yng Nghymru, onid ydym yn wynebu'r un clogwyn ag y mae meddygon eu hunain yn ei wynebu, ac maent yn dewis peidio ag ymgymryd â sesiynau ychwanegol, gan fod effeithiau'r sesiynau ychwanegol hynny ar eu pensiynau gymaint yn fwy fel bod gwneud hynny'n costio arian iddynt? Ac mae costau ymylol y sesiynau hynny'n enfawr oherwydd y ffordd y maent yn rhyngweithio â'r system bensiynau. Onid yw hynny'n wir hefyd i Lywodraeth Cymru os ydynt yn dewis talu'r dreth honno? Ac a yw'n sicr yn ffordd gost-effeithiol, ar gyfer unrhyw beth y tu hwnt i'r tymor byr iawn, o wario arian trethdalwyr Cymru ar y symiau sylweddol iawn hyn i dalu treth pensiwn i Lywodraeth y DU a ninnau ond yn cael cynnydd cymedrol yn nifer y sesiynau a ddarperir gan feddygon yn sgil hynny?

I think it's a very real problem and it certainly hasn't been resolved. In the context of pressure across every single UK nation and the national health service in winter, it's an exacerbation of that because some of the people we're talking about work at the front of the hospital system together with people who work in general practice as well, whether in in-hours or out-of-hours. So it affects the whole system and there are other groups of staff, clinical and non-clinical, affected by the same issue.

So, the choice made in England, I would say that it was pretty extraordinary to do so in the middle of an election campaign and to do so without any contact with the other Governments within the UK as well. I don't think that was particularly well reflected in the way that lots of healthcare staff, regardless of their views on how to vote, felt about that choice being made, and there is a real need to go back to look at the direct impact. The impact upon staff on the cliff edge that some face is potentially having in-year bills that are the same or more than their rates of pay or significant sums of money that they just haven't provided for and can't plan for, and you couldn't reasonably expect them to do so as well.

There's also a challenge about the long-term effects of the pension scheme. If you get your higher earners and higher contributors coming out of that scheme and not making contributions, that affects everyone who's in the scheme. But more than that, these are UK rules, and they're UK rules designed and delivered by the UK Treasury—they affect all of us. And I certainly hope that, in the UK budget coming up within the next coming months, they resolve the problem that they have created. Because it will cost more money to resolve it  otherwise, because we'll do that in the sense that the arrangement we've already had to work around now; we'll do that by paying more for activity, probably in the independent sector, to recover activity that won't take place within the national health service. But, more than that, we are bleeding away the goodwill of staff who are directly affected, and some of those staff who come and work additional hours within the national health service, to undertake waiting list initiatives in every one of the four UK countries, may decide not to come back, and we may find that we need to recruit, train and retain even more of those staff in the future, with even more cost to the taxpayer and the national health service to do so.

I think it is a self-defeating measure. I've written or I'll shortly be writing again, and I'll happily make Members aware of that when I do, to the UK Government asking them to, again, have an attack of common sense, to look again at the rules, and to do the right thing by the national health service, because all of us will pay if they don't do so, and it's literally affecting thousands and thousands of episodes of patient treatment and care. That has to be the wrong choice to make, and I certainly hope that the UK Government do the right thing and then they can all argue about who should take credit for it afterwards.

Credaf ei bod yn broblem real iawn ac yn sicr nid yw wedi'i datrys. Yng nghyd-destun y pwysau ar bob gwlad yn y DU a'r gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol yn y gaeaf, mae'n waethygiad o hynny gan fod rhai o'r bobl rydym yn sôn amdanynt ar reng flaen y system ysbytai ynghyd â phobl sy'n gweithio mewn ymarfer cyffredinol hefyd, boed hynny mewn gwasanaeth oriau arferol neu'r tu allan i oriau. Felly mae'n effeithio ar y system gyfan ac mae grwpiau eraill o staff, clinigol ac anghlinigol, yn cael eu heffeithio gan yr un mater.

Felly, o ran y dewis a wnaed yn Lloegr, buaswn yn dweud ei bod yn eithaf rhyfeddol gwneud hynny ynghanol ymgyrch etholiadol a gwneud hynny heb unrhyw gyswllt â Llywodraethau eraill y DU hefyd. Ni chredaf fod hynny wedi'i adlewyrchu'n arbennig o dda yn y ffordd roedd llawer o staff gofal iechyd, ni waeth beth oedd eu barn ar sut i bleidleisio, yn teimlo am y ffaith bod y dewis hwnnw wedi cael ei wneud, ac mae gwir angen mynd yn ôl i edrych ar yr effaith uniongyrchol. Yr effaith ar staff ar ymyl y clogwyn y mae rhai'n ei hwynebu o bosibl yw cael biliau yn ystod y flwyddyn sydd yr un faint neu'n fwy na'u cyfraddau cyflog neu symiau sylweddol o arian nad ydynt wedi darparu ar eu cyfer ac na allant gynllunio ar eu cyfer, ac ni allech ddisgwyl o fewn rheswm iddynt allu gwneud hynny chwaith.

Ceir her hefyd ynghylch effeithiau hirdymor y cynllun pensiwn. Os yw eich enillwyr uwch a'ch cyfranwyr uwch yn dod allan o'r cynllun hwnnw heb wneud cyfraniadau, mae hynny'n effeithio ar bawb sy'n rhan o'r cynllun. Ond yn fwy na hynny, rheolau'r DU yw'r rhain, ac maent yn rheolau'r DU sydd wedi'u cynllunio a'u gweithredu gan Drysorlys y DU—maent yn effeithio ar bob un ohonom. Ac rwy’n sicr yn gobeithio, yng nghyllideb y DU sydd ar ddod o fewn y misoedd nesaf, y byddant yn datrys y broblem y maent wedi'i chreu. Oherwydd bydd yn costio mwy o arian i'w datrys fel arall, gan y byddwn yn gwneud hynny yn yr ystyr ein bod eisoes wedi gorfod gweithio o gwmpas y trefniant yn awr; byddwn yn gwneud hynny drwy dalu mwy am weithgarwch, yn y sector annibynnol yn ôl pob tebyg, i adfer gweithgarwch na fydd yn digwydd yn y gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol. Ond yn fwy na hynny, rydym yn colli ewyllys da'r staff yr effeithir arnynt yn uniongyrchol, ac efallai y bydd rhai o'r staff sy'n dod i weithio oriau ychwanegol yn y gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol, i ymgymryd â mentrau rhestrau aros ym mhob un o bedair gwlad y DU, yn penderfynu peidio â dychwelyd, ac efallai y byddwn yn gweld bod angen i ni recriwtio, hyfforddi a chadw hyd yn oed mwy o'r staff hynny yn y dyfodol, gyda hyd yn oed mwy o gost i'r trethdalwr a'r gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol er mwyn gwneud hynny.

Credaf ei fod yn fesur hunandrechol. Rwyf wedi ysgrifennu, neu byddaf yn ysgrifennu eto cyn bo hir, ac rwy'n fwy na pharod i roi gwybod i'r Aelodau pan fyddaf yn gwneud hynny, at Lywodraeth y DU i ofyn iddynt, unwaith eto, gael pwl o synnwyr cyffredin, i edrych eto ar y rheolau, ac i wneud y peth iawn i'r gwasanaeth iechyd gwladol, gan y bydd pob un ohonom yn talu os na fyddant yn gwneud hynny, ac mae'n llythrennol yn effeithio ar filoedd ar filoedd o achosion o ofal a thriniaeth cleifion. Mae'n rhaid mai dyna'r dewis anghywir i'w wneud, ac rwy'n sicr yn gobeithio y bydd Llywodraeth y DU yn gwneud y peth iawn, a gallant ddadlau ynglŷn â phwy ddylai gymryd y clod am hynny wedyn.

14:55
Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf Morgannwg
Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

3. Pa fewnbwn y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei gael i wella gwasanaethau ym Mwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf Morgannwg? OAQ54901

3. What input is the Welsh Government having to improve services at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board? OAQ54901

We support a range of activities to drive service improvement, examples of which were set out in my statements of 19 November 2019, 8 October 2019, and 16 July 2019. Our priority is to ensure that people in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board area receive health services that deliver the best possible outcomes and experience.

Rydym yn cefnogi ystod o weithgareddau i hybu gwelliant gwasanaethau, a nodwyd enghreifftiau o hynny yn fy natganiadau ar 19 Tachwedd 2019, 8 Hydref 2019, a 16 Gorffennaf 2019. Ein blaenoriaeth yw sicrhau bod pobl yn ardal Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf Morgannwg yn cael gwasanaethau iechyd sy'n darparu'r canlyniadau a'r profiad gorau posibl.

Minister, I have a question about the state of perinatal care, and I fear this situation is the norm, and not the exception. A constituent has contacted me with one of the most distressing accounts of being failed by the NHS that I've come across. She says that the love for her children is the only thing that stopped her ending her life. The woman concerned is also being supported by the Birth Trauma Association, who've been shocked by the repeated failings, the lack of improving access to psychological therapies and the inability of mothers to self-refer.

I have written to the chief executive of the trust, to try and get justice on this individual case, but I think this matter highlights a general lack of perinatal care facilities here in Wales—a matter that was highlighted by my much missed colleague Steffan Lewis, many, many years ago. So, do you agree with me and with Steffan that there needs to be an urgent improvement in perinatal care in Wales, and if you do agree, how do you intend to do it? 

Weinidog, mae gennyf gwestiwn am gyflwr gofal amenedigol, ac mae arnaf ofn mai'r sefyllfa hon yw'r norm, yn hytrach na'r eithriad. Mae etholwr wedi cysylltu â mi gydag un o'r enghreifftiau mwyaf torcalonnus i mi glywed amdani o fethiannau'r GIG. Dywed mai cariad tuag at ei phlant yw'r unig beth a'i rhwystrodd rhag dod â'i bywyd i ben. Mae'r fenyw dan sylw hefyd yn cael cefnogaeth gan y Birth Trauma Association, sydd wedi'u synnu gan y methiannau niferus, y diffyg gwelliant o ran mynediad at therapïau seicolegol ac anallu mamau i hunangyfeirio.

Rwyf wedi ysgrifennu at brif weithredwr yr ymddiriedolaeth, i geisio cael cyfiawnder mewn perthynas â'r achos unigol hwn, ond credaf fod y mater yn tynnu sylw at ddiffyg cyffredinol o gyfleusterau gofal amenedigol yma yng Nghymru—mater a amlygwyd sawl blwyddyn yn ôl gan fy nghyd-Aelod, Steffan Lewis, y mae llawer o hiraeth ar ei ôl. Felly, a ydych yn cytuno â mi a chyda Steffan fod angen gwella gofal amenedigol yng Nghymru ar frys, ac os ydych yn cytuno, sut y bwriadwch wneud hynny?

Well, obviously, I don't know the individual circumstances that the Member has referred to, and if she wants me to take an interest, then I'll be happy to do so in the individual matter. I'd be interested in knowing, but I'd need the permission of her and her constituent to do so, and what the response is to the complaints and concerns that have been raised.

When it comes to what we do about it, we have invested significantly in community perinatal care, but there is the challenge about delivering the mother and baby unit that we're committed to doing, but that's only one part of the jigsaw, and it's part of the overall improvement. So, yes, I do believe that they need to be improved. I have written to the Children, Young People and Education Committee to set out where we are. There's some disappointment about the pace and scale of change, and I'm looking at an interim solution before a permanent one is in place on the inpatient care. And I committed again today in budget scrutiny with the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee to make sure that they're copied in when I provide a further update to the children and young people's committee.

But this is a significant area of activity and of improvement activity, as well. The perinatal lead that we have in place, Sharon Fernandez, a recognised health visitor, is actually helping to drive some of that improvement. I'd be more than happy to write to the Member with more detail on that programme if that would be helpful.

Wel, yn amlwg, nid wyf yn ymwybodol o'r amgylchiadau unigol y cyfeiria'r Aelod atynt, ac os yw'n awyddus i mi roi sylw i'r mater unigol hwnnw, rwy'n fwy na pharod i wneud hynny. Byddai gennyf ddiddordeb mewn gwybod, ond byddai angen ei chaniatâd hi a'i hetholwr arnaf i wneud hynny, a beth yw'r ymateb i'r cwynion a'r pryderon a godwyd.

O ran yr hyn a wnawn yn ei gylch, rydym wedi buddsoddi'n sylweddol mewn gofal amenedigol cymunedol, ond ceir her hefyd ynghylch darparu'r uned mamau a babanod rydym wedi ymrwymo i'w wneud, ond un rhan o'r jig-so yn unig yw hynny, ac mae'n rhan o'r gwelliant cyffredinol. Felly, ydw, rwy'n credu bod angen eu gwella. Rwyf wedi ysgrifennu at y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg i nodi ein sefyllfa ar hyn o bryd. Cafwyd rhywfaint o siom ynghylch cyflymder a graddfa'r newid, ac rwy'n edrych ar ateb dros dro cyn y gellir rhoi un parhaol ar waith ar ofal cleifion mewnol. Ac ymrwymais eto heddiw yn y sesiwn graffu ar y gyllideb gyda'r Pwyllgor Iechyd, Gofal Cymdeithasol a Chwaraeon i sicrhau eu bod hwythau'n cael gwybod pan fyddaf yn darparu diweddariad pellach i'r pwyllgor plant a phobl ifanc.

Ond mae hwn yn faes sylweddol o weithgarwch ac o weithgarwch gwella hefyd. Mae'r arweinydd amenedigol sydd gennym ar waith, Sharon Fernandez, ymwelydd iechyd cydnabyddedig, yn helpu i hybu rhywfaint o'r gwelliant. Rwy'n fwy na pharod i ysgrifennu at yr Aelod gyda mwy o fanylion am y rhaglen os yw hynny o ddefnydd.

Minister, a few months ago, I asked you about the discrepancy in ambulance discharge times for my constituents attending the Princess of Wales Hospital, as compared to those attending other hospitals in Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Now I've had a freedom of information response showing that my constituents who live in the Bridgend County Borough Council area are waiting far longer for orthopaedic surgery than those living elsewhere within the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area. The wait for knee replacements, new hips and shoulder surgery is nine months for residents in the old Cwm Taf area. My constituents, however, are having to wait twice as long as that, and in the case of knee replacement, a minimum of two years. Cwm Taf Morgannwg have started to outsource the simpler cases to private hospitals—let's hear the howls of indignation now—and by organising weekend work at Princess of Wales Hospital. But are you happy with the inequities of provision within one health board?

Weinidog, ychydig fisoedd yn ôl, gofynnais i chi am yr anghysondeb mewn amseroedd rhyddhau o ambiwlansys i fy etholwyr sy'n mynychu Ysbyty Tywysoges Cymru, o gymharu â'r rheini sy'n mynychu ysbytai eraill yn ardal Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Nawr, cefais ymateb rhyddid gwybodaeth sy'n dangos bod fy etholwyr sy'n byw yn ardal Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn aros llawer mwy am lawdriniaeth orthopedig na'r rheini sy'n byw mewn mannau eraill yn ardal Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Mae'r cyfnod aros am ben-glin newydd, clun newydd a llawdriniaeth ar yr ysgwydd yn naw mis i drigolion hen ardal Cwm Taf. Fodd bynnag, mae'n rhaid i fy etholwyr aros ddwywaith yn hwy na hynny, ac o leiaf ddwy flynedd i gael pen-glin newydd. Mae Cwm Taf Morgannwg wedi dechrau rhoi'r achosion symlach ar gontract allanol i ysbytai preifat—gadewch i ni glywed y floedd o ddicter nawr—a thrwy drefnu gwaith ar y penwythnos yn Ysbyty Tywysoges Cymru. Ond a ydych chi'n fodlon ag annhegwch y ddarpariaeth o fewn un bwrdd iechyd?

15:00

No, there's not just a challenge about it within one health board, but the broader improvement we know is required, in particular when it comes to joint replacement surgery, in a number of different parts of Wales. That's part of the reason why we're looking not just at the planned care improvement activity, but what that means in terms of reorganising the range of our services in hospitals, and actually finally getting to the point of understanding how we get to have a planned care system that isn't overloaded and interrupted by emergency care. So we're going to need to look again and be able to deliver some planned care activities where we don't have emergency care taking place on the same site.

Now, that's part of the challenge not just for one health board but for health boards generally. That's part of the reason why I've required health boards to look together, regionally, to plan some of those activities as well, and I fully expect to be updating Members in the course of the year on what that is likely to mean, because I want to see improvement in every part of the country, not just within one health board area.

Na, nid mewn un bwrdd iechyd y mae'r her yn hyn o beth, ond yn y gwelliant ehangach y gwyddom fod ei angen mewn sawl gwahanol ran o Gymru, yn enwedig o ran llawdriniaethau ar y cymalau. Dyna ran o'r rheswm pam ein bod yn edrych nid yn unig ar y gwaith o wella gofal wedi'i gynllunio, ond yr hyn y mae hynny'n ei olygu o ran ad-drefnu ein hystod o wasanaethau mewn ysbytai, a chyrraedd pwynt o'r diwedd lle rydym yn deall sut i gael system gofal wedi'i gynllunio nad yw gofal brys yn ymyrryd arni ac yn ei gorlwytho. Felly bydd angen i ni edrych eto a gallu cyflawni peth gweithgarwch gofal wedi'i cynllunio lle nad oes gennym ofal brys yn digwydd ar yr un safle.

Nawr, mae hynny'n rhan o'r her nid i un bwrdd iechyd yn unig ond i fyrddau iechyd yn gyffredinol. Dyna ran o'r rheswm pam rwyf wedi'i gwneud yn ofynnol i fyrddau iechyd weithio gyda'i gilydd, yn rhanbarthol, i gynllunio rhai o'r gweithgareddau hynny hefyd, ac rwy'n disgwyl rhoi diweddariad i'r Aelodau yn ystod y flwyddyn ar yr hyn y mae hynny'n debygol o'i olygu, gan fy mod am weld gwelliant ym mhob rhan o'r wlad, nid mewn un ardal bwrdd iechyd yn unig.

Amseroedd Aros mewn Adrannau Damweiniau ac Achosion Brys
Accident and Emergency Waiting Times

4. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am amseroedd aros mewn adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys? OAQ54897

4. Will the Minister make a statement on accident and emergency waiting times? OAQ54897

Performance against emergency department access targets is not where we, the public or the NHS want it to be and I have made clear my expectation with health boards of the requirement for continuous improvement. We continue to work with all stakeholders to support the delivery of a whole-system improvement.

Nid yw'r perfformiad yn erbyn targedau mynediad adrannau brys ar y lefel rydym ni, y cyhoedd na'r GIG am iddo fod ac rwyf wedi nodi fy nisgwyliad yn glir wrth y byrddau iechyd ynglŷn â'r angen am welliant parhaus. Rydym yn parhau i weithio gyda'r holl randdeiliaid i gefnogi'r gwaith o gyflawni gwelliant system gyfan.

Thank you. Minister, A&E has seen a decade of decline in Wales. The percentage of patients seen within the four-hour target time has fallen from 90.9 per cent in October 2009 to 74.4 per cent in November 2019. The sirens are screeching loudest in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which has fallen from 93.7 per cent in October 2009 to 72.2 per cent last November. The reality is even worse in some hospitals, especially Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, which is now the worst performing A&E in Wales. Not once has this hospital hit the 95 per cent target. What urgent actions will you take in conjunction with the chief executive of the health board to review and reform the A&E department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd?

Diolch. Weinidog, mae adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys wedi gweld degawd o ddirywiad yng Nghymru. Mae canran y cleifion sy'n cael eu gweld o fewn yr amser targed o bedair awr wedi gostwng o 90.9 y cant ym mis Hydref 2009 i 74.4 y cant ym mis Tachwedd 2019. Mae'r seirenau'n sgrechian uchaf ym Mwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Betsi Cadwaladr, sydd wedi gostwng o 93.7 y cant ym mis Hydref 2009 i 72.2 y cant fis Tachwedd diwethaf. Mae'r realiti hyd yn oed yn waeth mewn rhai ysbytai, yn enwedig Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, sef yr adran ddamweiniau ac achosion brys sy'n perfformio waethaf yng Nghymru bellach. Nid yw'r ysbyty hwn erioed wedi cyrraedd y targed o 95 y cant. Pa gamau brys y byddwch yn eu cymryd ar y cyd â phrif weithredwr y bwrdd iechyd i adolygu a diwygio'r adran ddamweiniau ac achosion brys yn Ysbyty Glan Clwyd?

Well, I don't think it's a question of a single department being the issue in question, but there is improvement work taking place on peer leadership and exchange between the three departments in north Wales. There's been outside intervention together as well over the course of not just last winter, but this winter, too. You'll also have seen the measures we've taken, for example, with the Red Cross and pharmacy intervention within each of the emergency departments as well. If you look at the—[Interruption.]

Wel, ni chredaf fod y broblem dan sylw'n ymwneud ag un adran yn unig, ond mae gwaith gwella'n mynd rhagddo ar arweinyddiaeth gan gymheiriaid a chyfnewid rhwng y tair adran yng ngogledd Cymru. Cafwyd ymyrraeth allanol ar y cyd hefyd nid yn unig yn ystod y gaeaf diwethaf, ond y gaeaf hwn yn ogystal. Byddwch hefyd wedi gweld y camau rydym wedi'u cymryd, er enghraifft, gyda'r Groes Goch ac ymyrraeth fferylliaeth ym mhob un o'r adrannau achosion brys. Os edrychwch ar y—[Torri ar draws.]

And if you look at the challenges that exist right across the United Kingdom—[Interruption.]

Ac os edrychwch ar yr heriau sy'n bodoli ledled y Deyrnas Unedig—[Torri ar draws.]

Can we allow the Minister to respond to the question, please?

A gawn ni ganiatáu i'r Gweinidog ymateb i'r cwestiwn, os gwelwch yn dda?

If you look at the challenges right across the United Kingdom, you'll see exactly the same pressure right across the system, both in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where each system talks and does honestly reflect the challenges that it has. I think when you look at the work that I'll be able to confirm early in this year on reforming and improving emergency care, you'll see we have listened to our clinicians, we're looking at new ways to improve, and of course the statement that I've made today sets out a range of improvement actions that will take place not just at the front door, but through our whole system. So I think you can already see action that is being taken, and there'll be more that I'll announce in the next coming months.

Os edrychwch ar yr heriau ledled y Deyrnas Unedig, fe welwch yr un pwysau'n union ar draws y system, yn Lloegr, yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon, lle mae pob system yn siarad ac yn adlewyrchu'n onest yr heriau sy'n ei hwynebu. Pan edrychwch ar y gwaith y byddaf yn gallu ei gadarnhau yn gynnar eleni ar ddiwygio a gwella gofal brys, credaf y byddwch yn gweld ein bod wedi gwrando ar ein clinigwyr, rydym yn edrych ar ffyrdd newydd o wella, ac wrth gwrs, mae'r datganiad a wneuthum heddiw yn nodi ystod o gamau gwella a fydd yn mynd rhagddynt nid yn unig wrth y drws blaen, ond drwy ein system gyfan. Felly credaf y gallwch weld camau sy'n cael eu cymryd eisoes, a byddaf yn cyhoeddi rhagor dros y misoedd nesaf.

Minister, the health board remains in special measures, so the state of affairs has developed on your watch. Every year you prepare for winter pressures, and the latest BBC headlines this morning were that, for the whole of Wales, there were 79,150 wasted hours for ambulance crews waiting outside A&E. That's the equivalent of nine years, and that was last year, for crews waiting outside A&E. That's every year, and every year you appear to get caught out. If we look at the Record for this time last year, I know that the same questions and the same answers will feature. When will we see the improvements our constituents deserve?

Weinidog, mae'r bwrdd iechyd yn parhau i fod mewn mesurau arbennig, felly mae'r sefyllfa wedi datblygu o dan eich gwyliadwriaeth chi. Bob blwyddyn, rydych yn paratoi ar gyfer pwysau'r gaeaf, a phenawdau diweddaraf y BBC y bore yma oedd, ar gyfer Cymru gyfan, fod 79,150 o oriau wedi'u gwastraffu wrth i griwiau ambiwlansys aros y tu allan i adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys. Mae hynny'n cyfateb i naw mlynedd, a llynedd oedd hynny, o ran criwiau'n aros y tu allan i adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys. Mae hynny'n digwydd bob blwyddyn, a phob blwyddyn, ymddengys eich bod yn methu cyflawni. Os edrychwn ar y Cofnod ar gyfer yr adeg hon y llynedd, gwn y bydd yr un cwestiynau a'r un atebion yn codi. Pryd y gwelwn y gwelliannau y mae ein hetholwyr yn eu haeddu?

Well, that's exactly why, in the statement that I've issued today, I set out the work that will be done to look at ambulance availability. That's about releasing ambulances into the community, but also, as I've said, it must be about further improvements to get people through the hospital and out of a hospital as well. We have been more successful than ever at keeping people in their own homes than before.

When it comes to a new way of working in emergency care, the programme's being led Jo Mower, the national clinical lead for unscheduled care, and we've invested in that programme. She's worked with her peers in emergency departments across the country to look at what that means for those departments, but that then has to be linked in to what that means for the whole system. So, my expectation is that we don't just provide care in the here and now and have a short-term answer; we need a longer term answer as well. Because I wouldn't pretend to any Member in this place, regardless of their party, that I'm sanguine and content about the current level of performance within our A&E system—that is both for the staff who work in it and the pressure that they feel, but also for people as well. And indeed, the conversation I had with a patient in Morriston A&E reinforced that. There's great support and understanding among the public about the pressure on the system, but actually what they want is improvement, and that's exactly what I want as well.

Wel, dyna'n union pam, yn y datganiad a gyhoeddais heddiw, y nodais y gwaith a fydd yn mynd rhagddo i edrych ar argaeledd ambiwlansys. Mae hynny'n ymwneud â rhyddhau ambiwlansys i'r gymuned, ond hefyd, fel rwyf wedi'i ddweud, mae'n rhaid i hynny ymwneud â gwelliannau pellach i sicrhau bod pobl yn mynd drwy'r ysbyty ac allan o'r ysbyty hefyd. Rydym wedi bod yn fwy llwyddiannus nag erioed o ran cadw pobl yn eu cartrefi eu hunain.

O ran ffordd newydd o weithio ym maes gofal brys, arweinir y rhaglen gan Jo Mower, yr arweinydd clinigol cenedlaethol ar gyfer gofal heb ei drefnu, ac rydym wedi buddsoddi yn y rhaglen honno. Mae hi wedi gweithio gyda'i chymheiriaid mewn adrannau brys ledled y wlad i edrych ar yr hyn y mae hynny'n ei olygu i'r adrannau hynny, a rhaid cysylltu hynny wedyn â'r hyn y mae'n ei olygu i'r system gyfan. Felly, fy nisgwyliad yw ein gweld yn gwneud mwy na darparu gofal ar yr adeg hon yn unig a chael ateb tymor byr; mae angen ateb mwy hirdymor arnom hefyd. Oherwydd ni fuaswn yn esgus wrth unrhyw Aelod yn y lle hwn, ni waeth beth fo'u plaid, fy mod yn hyderus ac yn fodlon ynglŷn â lefel gyfredol y perfformiad yn ein system ddamweiniau ac achosion brys—rwy'n dweud hynny wrth y staff sy'n gweithio ynddi a'r pwysau y maent yn ei deimlo, ond wrth y bobl hefyd. Ac yn wir, roedd y sgwrs a gefais gyda chlaf yn adran ddamweiniau ac achosion brys Treforys yn atgyfnerthu hynny. Mae cefnogaeth a dealltwriaeth wych ymhlith y cyhoedd ynglŷn â'r pwysau ar y system, ond yr hyn y maent yn dymuno ei gael mewn gwirionedd yw gwelliant, a dyna'n union rwy'n dymuno ei gael hefyd.

15:05
Gwasanaeth Ambiwlans Cymru
The Welsh Ambulance Service

5. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd yn dilyn methiant Gwasanaeth Ambiwlans Cymru i gyrraedd ei darged amser ymateb am y tro cyntaf mewn pedair blynedd? OAQ54922

5. What action is the Welsh Government taking following the Welsh Ambulance Service failing to meet its response time target for the first time in four years? OAQ54922

We're closely working with the chief ambulance commissioner, health boards and the Welsh ambulance service to identify actions to support immediate and sustainable improvement in ambulance responsiveness. I made a written statement on this issue earlier today.

Rydym yn gweithio'n agos gyda phrif gomisiynydd y gwasanaethau ambiwlans, byrddau iechyd a gwasanaeth ambiwlans Cymru i nodi camau i gefnogi gwelliant uniongyrchol a chynaliadwy yn amseroedd ymateb ambiwlansys. Gwneuthum ddatganiad ysgrifenedig ar y mater hwn yn gynharach heddiw.

I'm grateful to the Minister for his response. I believe it's important that when we talk about these issues we remember that we are talking about real people, real families, and the impact on their lives.

I want to draw the Minister's attention to a constituent from Llanelli who contacted me last week regarding his father's treatment following a fall on Sunday 29 December. He fractured his hip. The elderly gentleman was fortunate he wasn't by himself. A phone call was made to the emergency services at 8.30 p.m. It was not responded to until 10.30 a.m. That's a 14-hour wait for a vulnerable, elderly 88-year-old gentleman. By the time Mr Ogborne was taken into Morriston Hospital and given a bed, almost a whole day had passed since his fall, and he was very fortunate, of course, that he wasn't on his own when that happened. The situation was exasperated by a very large number of ambulances queuing outside A&E. His hip operation was scheduled for 31 December. It eventually took place on 1 January, but his health deteriorated further, and very sadly he succumbed to his illness and died on 4 January this year.

I hope the Minister will agree with me that this is not the kind of treatment that particularly our most elderly and vulnerable constituents and citizens of Wales should expect. I hope that he will be able to provide some assurance to the family that the outcome of the review that he's already allowing today will make it less likely that people like Mr Ogborne will be asked to wait this kind of length of time again. And I wonder if the Minister—though there may be complications—will consider apologising to Mr Ogborne's family, because I know that this is not the standard of service that the Minister would want.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ymateb. Credaf ei bod yn bwysig, pan fyddwn yn sôn am y materion hyn, ein bod yn cofio ein bod yn siarad am bobl go iawn, teuluoedd go iawn, a'r effaith ar eu bywydau.

Hoffwn dynnu sylw’r Gweinidog at etholwr o Lanelli a gysylltodd â mi yr wythnos diwethaf ynglŷn â thriniaeth ei dad yn dilyn cwymp ar ddydd Sul 29 Rhagfyr. Fe dorrodd ei glun. Roedd y gŵr oedrannus yn ffodus nad oedd ar ei ben ei hun. Gwnaed galwad ffôn i'r gwasanaethau brys am 8.30 y.h. Ni ymatebwyd i'r alwad tan 10.30 y.b. Dyna amser aros o 14 awr i ŵr bregus, oedrannus 88 oed. Erbyn i Mr Ogborne gael ei gludo i Ysbyty Treforys a chael gwely, roedd bron i ddiwrnod cyfan wedi bod ers iddo gwympo, ac roedd yn ffodus iawn, wrth gwrs, nad oedd ar ei ben ei hun pan ddigwyddodd hynny. Gwaethygwyd y sefyllfa gan y nifer fawr iawn o ambiwlansys a oedd yn aros y tu allan i'r adran ddamweiniau ac achosion brys. Trefnwyd iddo gael llawdriniaeth ar ei glun ar 31 Rhagfyr. Digwyddodd hynny yn y diwedd ar 1 Ionawr, ond dirywiodd ei iechyd ymhellach, ac yn anffodus iawn, fe fu ei salwch yn drech nag ef a bu farw ar 4 Ionawr eleni.

Rwy'n gobeithio y bydd y Gweinidog yn cytuno nad dyma'r math o driniaeth y dylai etholwyr a dinasyddion mwyaf oedrannus a bregus Cymru yn arbennig ei ddisgwyl. Rwy'n gobeithio y gall roi rhywfaint o sicrwydd i'r teulu y bydd canlyniad yr adolygiad y mae eisoes wedi'i ganiatáu heddiw yn ei gwneud yn llai tebygol y bydd angen i bobl fel Mr Ogborne aros am y math hwn o amser eto. A tybed a wnaiff y Gweinidog—er y gall fod cymhlethdodau—ystyried ymddiheuro i deulu Mr Ogborne, gan y gwn nad dyma'r safon gwasanaeth y byddai'r Gweinidog yn dymuno'i weld.

No, it certainly isn't the standard of service that I'd want. Obviously, I don't know all of the details, but I wouldn't describe what the Member has set out as being acceptable, and I'm sorry that any person would have that sort of experience. That's exactly why we're looking at ambulance response rates again with a short task and finish group, to look at actions to be taken sooner rather than later. There's nothing easy about this. The Member made this point earlier: if this was easy, we'd have pulled a lever and done it a long time ago. There isn't an easy answer to resolving all of the challenges of long waits in the system.

We know we've made real and sustained improvement in our ambulance service over the last four years. We know that other systems in Scotland and England have largely copied what we've done. But we also know that we've had a challenge that has grown over the last couple of years in particular about broader responsiveness, and that's what I'm looking to get into, to make sure that we have ambulances that are generally available for the risks that exist in the community, because while you manage what's in the front door of a hospital and that ties up resources there, you can't manage and deal with the risk in the way that you'd want to in the community. And that's accepted across the system as well, so it isn't about poking fingers at one part of our system; it's about delivering that whole-system improvement to deliver better care and more timely care for people right across the country.

Na, yn sicr, nid dyna'r safon gwasanaeth y buaswn yn dymuno'i weld. Yn amlwg, nid wyf yn ymwybodol o'r holl fanylion, ond ni fuaswn yn disgrifio'r hyn y mae'r Aelod wedi'i nodi fel rhywbeth sy'n dderbyniol, ac mae'n ddrwg gennyf fod unrhyw unigolyn yn cael profiad o'r fath. Dyna'n union pam ein bod yn edrych ar gyfraddau ymateb ambiwlansys eto gyda grŵp gorchwyl a gorffen byr, i edrych ar gamau i'w cymryd yn gynt yn hytrach na'n hwyrach. Nid oes unrhyw beth yn hawdd am hyn. Gwnaeth yr Aelod y pwynt hwn yn gynharach: pe bai hyn yn hawdd, byddem wedi tynnu lifer a'i wneud amser maith yn ôl. Nid oes ateb hawdd i ddatrys holl heriau amseroedd aros hir yn y system.

Gwyddom ein bod wedi gwneud gwelliant gwirioneddol a pharhaus yn ein gwasanaeth ambiwlans dros y pedair blynedd diwethaf. Gwyddom fod systemau eraill yn yr Alban a Lloegr wedi efelychu'r hyn rydym wedi'i wneud i raddau helaeth. Ond gwyddom hefyd ein bod wedi wynebu her sydd wedi tyfu dros yr ychydig flynyddoedd diwethaf yn enwedig mewn perthynas ag amseroedd ymateb ehangach, a dyna rwy'n awyddus i fynd i'r afael ag ef, i sicrhau bod gennym ambiwlansys sydd ar gael yn gyffredinol ar gyfer y risgiau sy'n bodoli yn y gymuned, oherwydd wrth i chi ymdrin â'r hyn sy'n dod drwy ddrws blaen ysbyty ac sy'n defnyddio adnoddau yno, ni allwch reoli ac ymdrin â'r risg yn y ffordd y byddech yn dymuno ei wneud yn y gymuned. A derbynnir hynny ar draws y system hefyd, felly nid oes a wnelo hyn â phwyntio bys at un rhan o'n system; mae a wnelo â chyflawni gwelliant system gyfan er mwyn darparu gwell gofal a gofal mwy amserol i bobl ledled y wlad.

Diagnosis Canser
Cancer Diagnosis

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog amlinellu pa gynlluniau sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru i wella diagnosis canser yng Nghymru? OAQ54907

6. Minister, will you outline what plans the Welsh Government has to improve cancer diagnosis? OAQ54907

This approach is set out in the cancer delivery plan, which remains in place until December of this year. This includes the pilots on rapid diagnostic centres we discussed earlier, supporting primary care referral practice and the single cancer pathway. There are also important national programmes in place to support diagnostic services, such as imaging, pathology and endoscopy.

Nodir y dull o weithredu yn y cynllun cyflawni ar gyfer canser, sy'n parhau i fod ar waith tan fis Rhagfyr eleni. Mae hyn yn cynnwys y cynlluniau peilot ar ganolfannau diagnosteg gyflym y buom yn eu trafod yn gynharach, cefnogi ymarfer atgyfeirio mewn gofal sylfaenol ac un llwybr canser. Mae rhaglenni cenedlaethol pwysig ar waith hefyd i gefnogi gwasanaethau diagnostig, megis delweddu, patholeg ac endosgopi.

Thank you for that and, of course, I heard the response you gave to the Member for Arfon when she raised a very similar question earlier on, but I just want to talk about gaps in the diagnostic workforce. And if I was to take an example, such as histopathologists, since the new junior doctor contract was introduced in England in 2016, a significant difference between the pay given to trainees studying histopathology in Wales and those across the border in England has developed, meaning that if you're a histopathologist working in England, you'll earn an extra £60,000 over the course of your career compared to a counterpart in Wales. And there is a really strong view from stakeholders that this is contributing, in part—it's not all of it, but it's contributing—to the 40 per cent drop-out rate of trainees from the Welsh training programme since 2017. Forty per cent. That's a shockingly high number. So, given these problems facing the workforce and given that they'll continue to have a severe impact, ultimately, on the patients and on our ability to do an early diagnosis of cancer and therefore improve people's quality of life, can you please outline what your Government is doing to resolve this problem and also provide a time frame as to when any action would take place?

Diolch, ac wrth gwrs, clywais yr ymateb a roesoch i'r Aelod dros Arfon pan ofynnodd hi gwestiwn tebyg iawn yn gynharach, ond hoffwn sôn am fylchau yn y gweithlu diagnostig. A phe bawn yn rhoi enghraifft, fel histopatholegyddion, ers i'r contract meddygon iau newydd gael ei gyflwyno yn Lloegr yn 2016, mae gwahaniaeth sylweddol wedi datblygu rhwng y cyflog a roddir i hyfforddeion sy'n astudio histopatholeg yng Nghymru a'r cyflog a roddir i'r rheini dros y ffin yn Lloegr, sy'n golygu, os ydych yn histopatholegydd sy'n gweithio yn Lloegr, byddwch yn ennill £60,000 yn fwy yn ystod eich gyrfa o gymharu â gweithiwr cyfatebol yng Nghymru. Ac mae rhanddeiliaid yn credu'n gryf fod hyn yn cyfrannu, yn rhannol—nid dyma'r unig reswm, ond mae'n cyfrannu—at y gyfradd o 40 y cant o hyfforddeion sydd wedi gadael y rhaglen hyfforddi yng Nghymru ers 2017. Deugain y cant. Mae'n nifer syfrdanol o uchel. Felly, o ystyried y problemau hyn sy'n wynebu'r gweithlu ac o ystyried y byddant yn parhau i gael effaith ddifrifol, yn y pen draw, ar y cleifion ac ar ein gallu i wneud diagnosis cynnar o ganser ac felly i wella ansawdd bywydau pobl, a wnewch chi amlinellu beth y mae eich Llywodraeth yn ei wneud i ddatrys y broblem hon, yn ogystal â darparu amserlen ar gyfer pryd y byddai unrhyw gamau yn cael eu cymryd?

15:10

Well, actually, the good news is that we've filled all of our histopathology training places this year, but I'm aware of not just the role that histopathologists have within cancer but more broadly as well, and there is the point about retaining those people during the course of their training and afterwards as well. And it is, as I said in discussion earlier with Mark Reckless, only partly about the pay. It is also about the broader conditions of service and the direction of travel that we have as well. And as we get into having a fully fledged health and social care workforce strategy, we'll have a strategic plan for that to hang around as well. But we are already taking action. As you've seen, we're obviously increasing places, there's the extra priority and, like I said, it is encouraging, of course, that we filled all of those places this year. But it is a matter that's constantly kept under review because, as we want to expand and more successfully deliver the single cancer pathway, we'll need to look again at the workforce we have and the workforce that we need. 

Wel, mewn gwirionedd, y newyddion da yw ein bod wedi llenwi ein holl leoedd hyfforddi ar gyfer histopatholeg eleni, ond rwy'n ymwybodol nid yn unig o'r rôl sydd gan histopatholegyddion mewn perthynas â chanser, ond yn fwy cyffredinol hefyd, ac rwy'n nodi'r pwynt am gadw'r bobl hynny yn ystod eu hyfforddiant ac wedi hynny hefyd. Ac fel y dywedais mewn trafodaeth yn gynharach â Mark Reckless, yn rhannol yn unig y mae hyn yn ymwneud â'r cyflog. Mae'n ymwneud â'r amodau gwasanaeth cyffredinol a'n cyfeiriad teithio hefyd. Ac wrth i ni agosáu at gael strategaeth lawn ar gyfer y gweithlu iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, bydd gennym gynllun strategol i gefnogi hynny hefyd. Ond rydym eisoes yn cymryd camau. Fel rydych wedi'i weld, rydym yn amlwg yn cynyddu nifer y lleoedd, mae'r flaenoriaeth ychwanegol honno ar waith, ac fel y dywedais, mae'n galonogol wrth gwrs ein bod wedi llenwi'r holl leoedd hynny eleni. Ond mae'n fater sy'n cael ei adolygu'n gyson oherwydd, gan ein bod am ehangu'r un llwybr canser a'i gyflawni'n fwy llwyddiannus, bydd angen inni edrych eto ar y gweithlu sydd gennym a'r gweithlu sydd ei angen arnom.

Yr Ymgyrch Dewis Doeth
The Choose Well Campaign

7. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gynnydd yr ymgyrch Dewis Doeth y gaeaf hwn? OAQ54927

7. Will the Minister provide an update on the progress of the Choose Well campaign this winter? OAQ54927

Thank you for that question. We are continuing to monitor and review Choose Well materials to ensure these target the intended audience. We are also focusing specifically on a digital first approach this winter, while retaining the My Winter Health Plan scheme for those who don't have access to the internet or social media.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Rydym yn parhau i fonitro ac adolygu deunyddiau Dewis Doeth i sicrhau bod y rhain yn targedu'r gynulleidfa a fwriadwyd. Rydym hefyd yn canolbwyntio'n benodol ar ddull digidol yn gyntaf y gaeaf hwn, gan gadw cynllun Fy Iechyd y Gaeaf Hwn ar gyfer y rheini nad oes ganddynt fynediad at y rhyngrwyd na'r cyfryngau cymdeithasol.

Thank you for that answer, Deputy Minister. During my pre-Christmas visit to Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr, I was pleased to meet a range of staff, including the Red Cross staff working in the emergency department on the well-being and home safe service. And I think the health Minister's written statement this morning recognised that we should all be aware of the contribution that organisations like the Red Cross actually make in supporting the NHS.

I was also pleased to see in the Minister's statement that a ministerial task force is to be set up and will be looking at alternative pathways to avoid unnecessary attendance at A&E. So, in parallel with this, can I ask what more can be done to raise even more awareness of the Choose Well campaign, in order that we can direct patients to an appropriate location for their health needs? Because whilst there's clearly a lot more to do in managing the pressures on our emergency system, part of the solution must be to ensure that people who shouldn't be in A&E get the help that they need where they need it, when they need it, in the most appropriate settings. 

Diolch am eich ateb, Ddirprwy Weinidog. Yn ystod fy ymweliad cyn y Nadolig ag Ysbyty'r Tywysog Siarl ym Merthyr Tudful, roeddwn yn falch o gyfarfod ag ystod o staff, gan gynnwys staff y Groes Goch sy'n gweithio yn yr adran achosion brys ar y gwasanaeth lles a diogelwch yn y cartref. A chredaf fod datganiad ysgrifenedig y Gweinidog iechyd y bore yma wedi cydnabod y dylai pob un ohonom fod yn ymwybodol o'r cyfraniad y mae sefydliadau fel y Groes Goch yn ei wneud mewn gwirionedd i gefnogi'r GIG.

Roeddwn hefyd yn falch o weld yn natganiad y Gweinidog y bydd tasglu gweinidogol yn cael ei sefydlu, ac y bydd yn ystyried llwybrau amgen i osgoi ymweliadau diangen ag adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys. Felly, ochr yn ochr â hyn, a gaf fi ofyn beth arall y gellir ei wneud i godi mwy fyth o ymwybyddiaeth o'r ymgyrch Dewis Doeth, fel y gallwn gyfeirio cleifion at leoliad priodol ar gyfer eu hanghenion iechyd? Oherwydd er ei bod yn amlwg fod mwy o lawer i'w wneud o ran rheoli'r pwysau ar ein system achosion brys, mae'n rhaid i ran o'r ateb ymwneud â sicrhau bod pobl na ddylent fod mewn adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys yn cael y cymorth sydd ei angen arnynt lle mae ei angen arnynt, pan fydd ei angen arnynt, yn y lleoliadau mwyaf priodol.

I thank Dawn Bowden for that very important question, and I would certainly want to commend the work of the Red Cross in the hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and also thank all staff across NHS Wales and the social care sector who, as we know from the discussions we've had here this afternoon, are working under pressure to provide care to the people of Wales. So we are working very closely with all the health boards and social care service providers to ensure that they do deliver the best outcome for patients and to support the further practical work that we need to do.

The Choose Well scheme has been successful. It has succeeded in directing more people to send their queries to other places rather than turning up at the emergency departments and A&E, and we're continually monitoring what the message should be. We're also ensuring that we have a message about mental health in the Choose Well programmes, that people recognise the difficulties that people experience and the mental health problems that crop up, particularly over periods like the Christmas period, so we're also looking at that.

But we are also continuing the scheme where we get all the information about a person and ask them to pin it up somewhere, like on a fridge in their room, so that there is information available in the home for professionals when they're asked for help, in order to try to do the best for the patient and to try to keep them at home, if possible, in all circumstances.

Diolch i Dawn Bowden am ei chwestiwn pwysig iawn, ac yn sicr, hoffwn gymeradwyo gwaith y Groes Goch yn yr ysbyty ym Merthyr Tudful a diolch hefyd i'r holl staff ym mhob rhan o GIG Cymru a'r sector gofal cymdeithasol sydd, fel y gwyddom o'r trafodaethau a gawsom yma y prynhawn yma, yn gweithio dan bwysau i ddarparu gofal i bobl Cymru. Felly rydym yn gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r holl fyrddau iechyd a darparwyr gwasanaethau gofal cymdeithasol i sicrhau eu bod yn darparu'r canlyniad gorau i gleifion ac i gefnogi'r gwaith ymarferol pellach y mae angen i ni ei wneud.

Mae'r cynllun Dewis Doeth wedi bod yn llwyddiant. Mae wedi llwyddo i gyfeirio mwy o bobl i fynd â'u hymholiadau i leoedd eraill yn hytrach na mynd i adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys, ac rydym yn monitro beth ddylai'r neges fod yn barhaus. Rydym hefyd yn sicrhau bod gennym neges am iechyd meddwl yn y rhaglenni Dewis Doeth, fod pobl yn cydnabod yr anawsterau y mae pobl yn eu hwynebu a'r problemau iechyd meddwl sy'n codi, yn enwedig dros gyfnodau fel cyfnod y Nadolig, felly rydym yn edrych ar hynny hefyd.

Ond rydym hefyd yn parhau â'r cynllun lle rydym yn cael yr holl wybodaeth am unigolyn ac yn gofyn iddynt ei harddangos yn rhywle, fel ar oergell neu yn eu hystafell wely, fel bod gwybodaeth ar gael yn y cartref i weithwyr proffesiynol pan ofynnir iddynt am gymorth, er mwyn ceisio gwneud yr hyn sydd orau i'r claf a cheisio eu cadw gartref, os oes modd, ym mhob achos.

15:15
Darpariaeth Awtistiaeth
Autism Provision

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ddarpariaeth awtistiaeth ym Mlaenau Gwent? OAQ54904

8. Will the Minister provide an update on autism provision in Blaenau Gwent? OAQ54904

Thank you. We're improving services through the autism strategy, and the integrated autism service is operating across Wales, including in Blaenau Gwent. We will consult on the draft statutory autism code of practice this spring and we are undertaking a demand and capacity review to ensure that services meet the needs of autistic people and their families.

Diolch. Rydym yn gwella gwasanaethau drwy'r strategaeth awtistiaeth, ac mae'r gwasanaeth awtistiaeth integredig ar waith ledled Cymru, gan gynnwys ym Mlaenau Gwent. Byddwn yn ymgynghori ar y cod ymarfer statudol drafft ar awtistiaeth yn y gwanwyn, ac rydym yn cynnal adolygiad o'r galw a chapasiti i sicrhau bod gwasanaethau'n diwallu anghenion pobl awtistig a'u teuluoedd.

I'm grateful to the Minister for that, and I know the Minister has demonstrated a very great personal commitment to delivering a high level and high quality of services for people and families with autism. I would ask him to review the way that those policies are being delivered in Blaenau Gwent. I hear in my advice surgeries on a weekly basis about difficulties that families are having accessing services. I recognise that this isn't happening across the whole face of the country, but I would be grateful if the Minister could commission a review of the provision of these services in Blaenau Gwent to ensure that the quality of services being delivered to people that I represent matches the best quality of provision across the whole of the country.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am hynny, a gwn fod y Gweinidog wedi dangos ymrwymiad personol mawr iawn i ddarparu lefel uchel o wasanaethau o ansawdd uchel i bobl a theuluoedd ag awtistiaeth. Hoffwn ofyn iddo adolygu'r ffordd y caiff y polisïau hynny eu cyflawni ym Mlaenau Gwent. Rwy'n clywed yn fy nghymorthfeydd bob wythnos am anawsterau y mae teuluoedd yn eu cael i gael mynediad at wasanaethau. Rwy'n cydnabod nad yw hyn yn digwydd ledled y wlad, ond buaswn yn ddiolchgar pe gallai'r Gweinidog gomisiynu adolygiad o ddarpariaeth y gwasanaethau hyn ym Mlaenau Gwent i sicrhau bod ansawdd y gwasanaethau a ddarperir i'r bobl rwy'n eu cynrychioli yn cyfateb i ansawdd gorau'r ddarpariaeth ledled y wlad.

The Member, to be fair, has been consistent in his concern over the lived experience of autistic people and their families in his constituency and the particular concerns that he feels exist in the join-up of all of those services to help make the most positive difference for those families. I think I'm meeting shortly with a group of parents from your constituency, and I'd be happy to discuss further there not just their lived experience but where any review could or could not be done. Because we're reviewing the whole national picture, we're having a national interaction, we're listening to people's own experience, so their voices will be within the code of practice and the improvement programme that we've set out, but I'd want to understand in some more detail what that might look like and whether, actually, there could be partners locally who could do that in any event without me trying to direct that at a ministerial level or to cut across the work we're doing. I think that's probably best taken up with the Member at his constituency in the coming few weeks.

Mae'r Aelod, a bod yn deg, wedi bod yn gyson o ran ei bryderon ynghylch profiad byw pobl awtistig a'u teuluoedd yn ei etholaeth a'r pryderon penodol y mae'n teimlo eu bod yn bodoli mewn perthynas â chydgysylltu'r holl wasanaethau hynny i helpu i wneud y gwahaniaeth mwyaf cadarnhaol i'r teuluoedd hynny. Rwy'n credu y byddaf yn cyfarfod yn fuan â grŵp o rieni o'ch etholaeth, ac rwy'n fwy na pharod i drafod ymhellach yno nid yn unig eu profiad byw ond lle gellid neu lle na ellid cynnal unrhyw adolygiad. Oherwydd rydym yn adolygu'r darlun cenedlaethol cyfan, rydym yn cael sgwrs genedlaethol, rydym yn gwrando ar brofiadau pobl, felly bydd eu lleisiau'n cael eu cynnwys yn y cod ymarfer a'r rhaglen wella rydym wedi'i nodi, ond hoffwn ddeall yn fwy manwl sut olwg fyddai ar hynny, ac a allai partneriaid lleol fod yn gwneud hynny beth bynnag heb i mi geisio cyfarwyddo'r gwaith hwnnw ar lefel weinidogol neu dorri ar draws y gwaith rydym yn ei wneud. Credaf mai'r peth gorau i'w wneud yw mynd i'r afael â hynny gyda'r Aelod yn ei etholaeth yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf.

3. Cwestiynau Amserol
3. Topical Questions

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau amserol—dau gwestiwn wedi'u derbyn heddiw, i'w gofyn i Weinidog yr Economi a Thrafnidiaeth, a'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Jack Sargeant.

The next item is topical questions—two questions have been accepted today, to ask to the Minister for Economy and Transport, and the first question is from Jack Sargeant.

Colledion Swyddi Mondi
Mondi Job Losses

1. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am y cyhoeddiad gan Mondi ynghylch colledion swyddi ym Mharc Diwydiannol Glannau Dyfrdwy yn Sir y Fflint? 380

1. Will the Minister make a statement on the announcement by Mondi of job losses at the Deeside Industrial Park in Flintshire? 380

Yes, of course. This is extremely disappointing news, and my thoughts and sympathies go to all those directly and indirectly affected. My officials visited the Deeside site yesterday and our focus is now on persuading the company to retain the north Wales site. We are providing every bit of support possible to the employees during this difficult time.

Gwnaf, wrth gwrs. Mae hyn yn newyddion hynod siomedig, ac rwy'n cydymdeimlo â phawb yr effeithir arnynt yn uniongyrchol ac yn anuniongyrchol. Ymwelodd fy swyddogion â safle Glannau Dyfrdwy ddoe, ac rydym yn canolbwyntio bellach ar berswadio'r cwmni i gadw'r safle yng ngogledd Cymru. Rydym yn darparu'r holl gefnogaeth sy'n bosibl i'r gweithwyr yn ystod y cyfnod anodd hwn.

Thank you for that answer, Minister. This is, of course, a very, very difficult time for the individuals, their families and the whole community in Deeside, and it is important now that we do all we can to support the workforce. Minister, you mentioned that you were in communication with Mondi. Can you confirm you are also in communication with the relevant trade unions? Secondly, what support can be put in place for the workforce, and, crucially, can you outline how the workforce can access this support? Minister, this news once again emphasises just how vital it is that we move quickly to support job creation in Deeside. Now, you know, Minister, and Members know across the Chamber, that I've long called for support for the Heathrow logistics hub at Tata Steel in Shotton, and I also believe that we should further invest in a second advanced manufacturing institute within the area. Minister, do you support me in these calls?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog. Mae hwn, wrth gwrs, yn gyfnod anodd tu hwnt i'r unigolion, eu teuluoedd a'r gymuned gyfan yng Nglannau Dyfrdwy, ac mae'n bwysig yn awr ein bod yn gwneud popeth a allwn i gefnogi'r gweithlu. Weinidog, fe sonioch chi eich bod yn cyfathrebu â Mondi. A allwch gadarnhau eich bod hefyd yn cyfathrebu â'r undebau llafur perthnasol? Yn ail, pa gefnogaeth y gellir ei rhoi ar waith i'r gweithlu, ac yn allweddol, a wnewch chi amlinellu sut y gall y gweithlu gael mynediad at y gefnogaeth hon? Weinidog, mae'r newyddion hwn unwaith eto'n pwysleisio pa mor hanfodol bwysig yw hi i ni fynd ati ar unwaith i helpu i greu swyddi yng Nglannau Dyfrdwy. Nawr, fe wyddoch chi, Weinidog, a gŵyr yr Aelodau ar draws y Siambr, fy mod wedi galw ers peth amser am gefnogaeth i ganolfan logisteg Heathrow yn Tata Steel yn Shotton, a chredaf hefyd y dylem fuddsoddi ymhellach mewn ail sefydliad gweithgynhyrchu uwch yn yr ardal. Weinidog, a ydych yn cefnogi'r galwadau hyn?

Can I thank Jack Sargeant for his questions? First and foremost, with regard to the position at the Mondi site, we'll work with company management—we've already made contact; we've visited the site—we'll work with the local authority, and we're working with staff representatives through the unions, throughout the consultation phase that is now under way, and we are hoping to reach a solution that will see the activities at the site maintained into the future. Now, whilst we hope that closure will be avoided, we stand ready to work, with the Department of Work and Pensions, our own ReAct team and other relevant stakeholders, to provide a comprehensive package of support to employees in the eventuality that the site cannot be saved.

Jobcentre Plus and Flintshire County Council have already been contacted, and they'll provide support and advice through the rapid response service that we've now established in north Wales. I'm pleased to say that Mondi has already said that it will hold a job recruitment day with local employers as part of the rapid redundancy support measures if closure is confirmed. We'll be working very closely to support this, and, if the need arises, to discuss any future use for the Deeside facility.

In terms of wider investment in the Deeside area, of course, the Heathrow logistics hub offers an enormous opportunity to provide sustainable high-quality work for many people in the area, and I would join Jack Sargeant also in saying that the second phase of the advanced manufacturing research centre—that being the advanced manufacturing research institute phase 2—is absolutely vital to promote the area and the region as a centre of excellence in electronics. We are proceeding with those plans for AMRI at pace.

I should finally say as well that in terms of skills demand in the area, employment numbers are such now in Flintshire—Flintshire, Llywydd, has the highest rate of employment in Wales, and it has the lowest rate of unemployment at just 2.3 per cent, which means that there is huge demand within the area for skilled people. As part of the work that we'll be undertaking with the company itself, we'll be carrying out a skills audit of the workforce to ensure that if it should close its doors, those people who are employed by Mondi will be able to be matched up as soon as possible with appropriate work elsewhere—for example, perhaps at KK Fine Foods, where, in the last 24 hours, we've been able to announce the creation of a further 40 jobs with investment of just over £0.5 million from the Welsh Government.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Jack Sargeant am ei gwestiynau? Yn gyntaf oll, o ran y sefyllfa ar safle Mondi, byddwn yn gweithio gyda rheolwyr y cwmni—rydym eisoes wedi cysylltu; rydym wedi ymweld â'r safle—byddwn yn gweithio gyda'r awdurdod lleol, ac rydym yn gweithio gyda chynrychiolwyr staff drwy'r undebau, drwy gydol y cam ymgynghori sydd bellach ar y gweill, ac rydym yn gobeithio dod o hyd i ateb a fydd yn arwain at gynnal y gweithgarwch ar y safle yn y dyfodol. Nawr, er ein bod yn gobeithio y gellir osgoi cau'r safle, rydym yn barod i weithio, gyda'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau, gyda'n tîm ReAct ein hunain a chyda rhanddeiliaid perthnasol eraill, i ddarparu pecyn cymorth cynhwysfawr i weithwyr os na ellir achub y safle.

Cysylltwyd eisoes â'r Ganolfan Byd Gwaith a Chyngor Sir y Fflint, a byddant yn darparu cefnogaeth a chyngor drwy'r gwasanaeth ymateb cyflym rydym bellach wedi'i sefydlu yng ngogledd Cymru. Rwy'n falch o ddweud bod Mondi eisoes wedi dweud y byddant yn cynnal diwrnod recriwtio swyddi gyda chyflogwyr lleol fel rhan o'r mesurau cymorth diswyddiadau cyflym os cadarnheir y bydd y safle'n cau. Byddwn yn gweithio'n agos iawn i gefnogi'r gwaith hwn, ac os bydd angen, i drafod unrhyw ddefnydd pellach ar y cyfleuster yng Nglannau Dyfrdwy yn y dyfodol.

O ran buddsoddiad ehangach yn ardal Glannau Dyfrdwy, wrth gwrs, mae canolfan logisteg Heathrow yn cynnig cyfle gwych i ddarparu gwaith cynaliadwy o ansawdd uchel i lawer o bobl yr ardal, a buaswn yn cytuno â Jack Sargeant drwy ddweud bod ail gam y ganolfan ymchwil gweithgynhyrchu uwch—sef cam 2 yr athrofa ymchwil gweithgynhyrchu uwch—yn gwbl hanfodol i hyrwyddo'r ardal a'r rhanbarth fel canolfan ragoriaeth ym maes electroneg. Rydym yn bwrw ymlaen â'r cynlluniau hynny ar gyfer yr athrofa ymchwil gweithgynhyrchu uwch ar fyrder.

Dylwn ddweud hefyd i gloi, o ran y galw am sgiliau yn yr ardal, fod niferoedd cyflogaeth mor uchel yn Sir y Fflint erbyn hyn—Sir y Fflint, Lywydd, sydd â'r gyfradd gyflogaeth uchaf yng Nghymru, a'r gyfradd ddiweithdra isaf ar 2.3 y cant yn unig, sy'n golygu bod cryn alw yn yr ardal am bobl fedrus. Fel rhan o'r gwaith y byddwn yn ei wneud gyda'r cwmni ei hun, byddwn yn cynnal archwiliad sgiliau o'r gweithlu i sicrhau, pe bai'r safle'n cau, y bydd modd paru'r bobl a gyflogir gan Mondi cyn gynted â phosibl â gwaith priodol mewn mannau eraill—er enghraifft, yn KK Fine Foods efallai, lle rydym, yn y 24 awr ddiwethaf, wedi gallu cyhoeddi y bydd 40 o swyddi eraill yn cael eu creu gyda buddsoddiad o ychydig dros £0.5 miliwn gan Lywodraeth Cymru.

15:20

As you'll be aware, the Mondi Group creates paper and plastic packaging products, and its plants at the Deeside industrial park, where 167 jobs are at risk, and in Nelson, Lancashire, where 41 jobs are affected, create flexible plastics packaging—bags, pouches and laminates—for the consumer industry. But the company said that a change in demand for these niche products has led to the potential closures. However, in its statement last Friday, it said it will start a 45-day consultation process, which could lead to the closure of the practices. What is your understanding of the position regarding the change in demand for niche products? What support, if any, working with the other agencies and the UK Government that you described, could be given, either to help stimulate demand for those niche products or vary the niche products, perhaps, into new product lines to ensure that they meet the demand that is out there?

Fel y gwyddoch, mae Mondi Group yn creu cynhyrchion deunydd pacio papur a phlastig, ac mae eu safleoedd ym mharc diwydiannol Glannau Dyfrdwy, lle mae 167 o swyddi mewn perygl, ac yn Nelson, Swydd Gaerhirfryn, lle mae 41 o swyddi'n cael eu heffeithio, yn creu deunydd pacio plastig hyblyg—bagiau, cydau a laminiadau—ar gyfer y diwydiant nwyddau traul. Ond dywedodd y cwmni fod newid yn y galw am y cynhyrchion arbenigol hyn wedi arwain at y posibilrwydd o gau safleoedd. Fodd bynnag, yn eu datganiad ddydd Gwener diwethaf, dywedasant y byddant yn cychwyn proses ymgynghori 45 diwrnod, a allai arwain at gau’r gweithfeydd. Beth yw eich dealltwriaeth o'r sefyllfa o ran y newid yn y galw am gynhyrchion arbenigol? Pa gefnogaeth y gellid ei rhoi, os o gwbl, gan weithio gyda'r asiantaethau eraill a Llywodraeth y DU fel y nodoch, naill ai i helpu i ysgogi'r galw am y cynhyrchion arbenigol hynny neu i amrywio'r cynhyrchion arbenigol, efallai, i greu cynnyrch newydd i sicrhau eu bod yn ateb y galw sy'n bodoli?

Can I thank Mark Isherwood for his questions in his contribution? My understanding is also that the products that come from the Deeside plant are very much niche products and that demand for them has, in recent times, subsided. As a consequence, the company needs to make a decision over whether to close the site, or whether, potentially, with assistance from the Welsh Government, perhaps the UK Government and the local authority, it could maintain its presence in north Wales by widening and broadening its base of products. That would require, of course, further research and development, and that's precisely why we've encouraged businesses to take full advantage of the advanced manufacturing research centre not far from that particular business. We would encourage the company, if it does decide to retain its presence, which we very much hope it will, to utilise the services and the collaboration within the AMRC.

In terms of the support that we stand ready to offer the workers, I've already outlined the rapid response service that now exists in north Wales and that stands ready to assist employees. In addition, we will look very closely at the pipeline of potential investments and growth that we already have for the region, and ensure that every effort is made to secure investment that could lead to new job opportunities being developed in Deeside and beyond.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Mark Isherwood am ei gwestiynau yn ei gyfraniad? Fy nealltwriaeth i yw bod y cynhyrchion sy'n dod o safle Glannau Dyfrdwy yn gynhyrchion arbenigol iawn a bod y galw amdanynt wedi lleihau'n ddiweddar. O ganlyniad, mae angen i'r cwmni wneud penderfyniad ynglŷn ag a ddylid cau'r safle, neu a allant, o bosibl, gyda chymorth Llywodraeth Cymru, Llywodraeth y DU efallai, a'r awdurdod lleol, ei gadw ar agor yng ngogledd Cymru drwy ehangu ei sylfaen o gynhyrchion. Wrth gwrs, byddai angen mwy o ymchwil a datblygu er mwyn gwneud hynny, a dyna'n union pam ein bod wedi annog busnesau i fanteisio'n llawn ar y ganolfan ymchwil gweithgynhyrchu uwch nad yw'n bell o'r busnes penodol hwnnw. Byddem yn annog y cwmni, os yw'n penderfynu cadw'r safle ar agor, ac rydym yn mawr obeithio y byddant, i ddefnyddio'r gwasanaethau a'r cydweithredu a geir yn y ganolfan ymchwil gweithgynhyrchu uwch.

O ran y gefnogaeth rydym yn barod i'w chynnig i'r gweithwyr, rwyf eisoes wedi amlinellu'r gwasanaeth ymateb cyflym sydd bellach ar waith yng ngogledd Cymru ac sy'n barod i gynorthwyo gweithwyr. Yn ogystal, byddwn yn edrych yn ofalus iawn ar y buddsoddiadau posibl a'r twf sydd gennym ar y gweill eisoes ar gyfer y rhanbarth, ac yn sicrhau y gwneir pob ymdrech i sicrhau buddsoddiad a allai arwain at ddatblygu cyfleoedd gwaith newydd yng Nglannau Dyfrdwy a thu hwnt.

It's interesting that the company cite the fact that there's been a change in demand for the niche products. Now, that does beg a broader question, of course—in what ways the Welsh Government might be helping companies to futureproof their business, given, of course, that there are societal changes and demands, and consumer trends, if you like, particularly in an environmental context. I'm just wondering what the Government might be doing to support some of those companies that might see these challenges on the horizon.

I'd be interested as well to hear whether Mondi have given an explanation why they're exiting the UK. Why consolidate outside the UK? What factors have driven that particular decision? Also, was the Welsh Government aware that there was a risk to these jobs, because my understanding is that there were issues there a couple of years ago, where the workforce actually stepped up to the plate? I'm just wondering, in the interim, whether the Government had been working with the company to try and safeguard those jobs. And if you were aware that those jobs were at risk, then maybe you could tell us what you did about it.

Mae'n ddiddorol fod y cwmni'n nodi'r ffaith bod newid wedi bod yn y galw am y cynhyrchion arbenigol. Nawr, mae hynny'n arwain at gwestiwn ehangach, wrth gwrs—ym mha ffyrdd y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru helpu cwmnïau i ddiogelu eu busnes at y dyfodol, o gofio, wrth gwrs, fod galwadau cymdeithas, a thueddiadau defnyddwyr os mynnwch, yn newid, yn enwedig yng nghyd-destun yr amgylchedd. Tybed beth y gall y Llywodraeth ei wneud i gefnogi rhai o'r cwmnïau sydd efallai'n gweld yr heriau hyn ar y gorwel.

Byddai gennyf ddiddordeb hefyd mewn clywed a yw Mondi wedi egluro pam eu bod yn gadael y DU. Pam atgyfnerthu y tu allan i'r DU? Pa ffactorau sydd wedi llywio'r penderfyniad penodol hwnnw? Hefyd, a oedd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymwybodol fod risg i'r swyddi hyn, oherwydd fy nealltwriaeth i yw eu bod wedi wynebu problemau yno flwyddyn neu ddwy yn ôl, a daeth y gweithlu i'r adwy bryd hynny? Tybed, yn y cyfamser, a yw'r Llywodraeth wedi bod yn gweithio gyda'r cwmni i geisio diogelu'r swyddi hynny. Ac os oeddech yn ymwybodol fod y swyddi mewn perygl, efallai y gallech ddweud wrthym beth a wnaethoch ynglŷn â hynny.

15:25

I can't reveal what's on our risk register in terms of businesses that we fear may be mobile and would choose to move away from Wales. That profile of businesses remains confidential because we don't want to raise any unnecessary concerns within the Welsh workforce. We maintain a very close dialogue with many of the 250,000 businesses in Wales, and we stand ready to assist any that face difficulties.

In terms of direct support that can be offered to businesses in order to futureproof against challenges such as decarbonisation, automation and digitisation and so forth, we developed the economic action plan, not just the economic contract that stands right at the centre of the economic action plan, but the new economy futures fund, with five areas of activity that allows companies to secure funding. Within those five areas, decarbonisation is one, headquartering in Wales is another, and in terms of research and development, businesses are also able to draw down funding through the economic futures fund.

Now, the example that I just gave in my response to Jack Sargeant, KK Fine Foods—they secured money in order to futureproof their activities within Deeside. They now have an economic contract that promotes decarbonisation, better health and mental health in the workplace, and fair work. They secured their funding in order to conduct more research and development at the Deeside plant, to diversify, and to move towards biodegradable packaging. That demonstrates how the economic action plan and the calls to action in the economy futures fund is working in practice on the ground to support companies transitioning to a new future.

Ni allaf ddatgelu beth sydd ar ein cofrestr risg o fusnesau rydym yn ofni y gallent ddewis symud o Gymru. Mae'r proffil hwnnw o fusnesau'n parhau i fod yn gyfrinachol gan nad ydym am achosi unrhyw bryderon diangen yng ngweithlu Cymru. Rydym yn cynnal deialog agos iawn gyda llawer o'r 250,000 o fusnesau yng Nghymru, ac rydym yn barod i gynorthwyo unrhyw rai sy'n wynebu anawsterau.

O ran cefnogaeth uniongyrchol y gellir ei chynnig i fusnesau er m