Posted: Wed 3rd Mar 2021

Health Minister publishes “targeted” improvement plans North Wales health board

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 3rd, 2021

A new “Targeted Intervention framework” for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been published following its de-escalation from special measures. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It includes four key areas that require improvement – adult and children’s mental health services, strategy, planning and performance; leadership (including governance, transformation and culture), and
engagement (patients, public, staff and partners). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

These areas aligns with the recommendations from the work undertaken by professional bodies and general feedback about the health board over the last 12 months. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board had been in special measures since June 2015, due to “serious and outstanding concerns about leadership, governance and progress” after ‘targeted intervention’ did not work. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Services including maternity and out-of-hours, have already come out of special measures in 2019. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

In November 2020 Health Minister Vaughan announced that the North Wales health board would be removed from ‘special measures’ with “immediate effect” and would be moved to a period of targeted intervention. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Welsh Government will work closely with the health board throughout the process of Targeted Intervention ensuring that progress is being made and agreeing appropriate interventions where necessary. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

A further assessment will take place in May and any changes will be added to the framework. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The plan has been supported by Welsh Government funding of £297m up to the end of 2023/24, as announced last year. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Th investment will be used to improve unscheduled care; build sustainable planned care, including orthopaedics; and deliver improvements in mental health services. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said: “As the health board moves into targeted intervention, transformation and innovation is essential, with the organisation continuing to build on the improvements that have already been made. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Targeted intervention is still a heightened level of escalation that requires significant action, but I am confident that the health board is committed to do all that is needed to see further development. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I want to thank the staff at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board who have made and sustained the progress to end special measures, alongside tackling the coronavirus pandemic.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However today’s announcement has been described as “special measures in all but name” by Welsh Conservative’s Shadow Minister for Health, Angela Burns MS ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

She said: “Cynical rewording of the truth does not change the truth; it just hides it, and Labour is playing a dangerous game in the run-up to the elections in May because the people of North Wales will see through it.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mark Isherwood MS, the Shadow Minister for North Wales, added: “Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was in special measures for over five years – the longest of any health organisation in the UK. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Although we never expected it to be given an immediate ‘fix’, it seems that concerns over the delivery of health services for the people of North Wales are as pertinent today as when the Health Board entered special measures under the stewardship of this Health Minister in 2015. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We know that staff have gone above and beyond to deliver health services to the people of North Wales, especially during the pandemic. Both they and their patients deserve better.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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