Posted: Wed 5th Feb 2020

Health Board Chief Executive to leave – Chairman says ‘we need to accelerate the pace of change’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 5th, 2020


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Betsi Cadwaladr health board’s Chief Executive is set to leave the organisation.

The health board has been in special measures since June 2015.

In a statement the health board chairman Mark Polin said, “Gary Doherty is leaving his position of Chief Executive this month to take up the role of Director of Integration at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”

“The Health Board went into Special Measures in June 2015 and Gary Doherty was appointed Chief Executive in February 2016.”

“The Board recognises that we need to accelerate the pace of change and it is now time for someone else to lead the next phase of our journey of improvement.”

“The search for a permanent successor will commence immediately.

Mr Polin added, “I would like to thank Gary on behalf of the Board and all staff for his hard work and we wish him the very best for the future.”

Simon Dean, Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Wales, will cover the Chief Executive post on an interim basis as of Monday 10th February.

Mr Dean undertook this role when the Health Board was placed in Special Measures in 2015, with the health board noting “…so he knows the organisation well”.

Angela Burns AM/AC, the Shadow Health Minister, commented:

“It’s Groundhog Day. Again.

We see another chief exec of BCUHB, which has been in special measures for nearly five years, stand down after ‘leading’ the board not to improvements, nor to even to keeping the status quo, but into a worse position overall than when he took over.

I allowed myself a wry smile at the statement in the letter from board Chairman Mark Polin, which was: ‘The Health Board’s performance in some areas is not acceptable… It is time for someone else to lead the next phase of our journey of improvement.’

Performance in some areas is not acceptable’? That’s putting it mildly.

It has been downright appalling and has become a national scandal, and as for the so-called ‘…next phase of our journey of improvement’, I, and the thousands of people Betsi Cadwaladr serves, are looking forward to the FIRST phase.”

Mrs Burns added:

“I can only hope that the new interim chief exec of BCUHB, Simon Dean, will, to use the board’s special brand of business jargon, ‘accelerate the pace of change’, as long as the change is for the better.”

Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd said:

“The performance of BCUHB over the past five years it has been in special measures has not improved.

The chief executive must bear some responsibility for this, as I made clear in the Senedd last week. For the sake of all patients in north Wales I hope this will mean a fresh start.

However, this does not absolve the health minister and Welsh Government for their responsibility.

BCUHB has been in special measures and under their direct control for five years. The buck ultimately stops there.”

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