Posted: Thu 8th Oct 2020

North Wales health board to remain in special measures reveals health minister

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 8th, 2020

North Wales’ health board is to remain in special measures, the Welsh Government has today confirmed.

In June 2015 the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board became the first to be taken into the direct control of the Welsh Government via special measures, but today it was announced that such status will continue for at least the rest of the year.

In a written statement to the Senedd, health minister Vaughan Gething today (Wednesday) said while the board had responded “positively” to the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns remain over the board’s “performance and strategic solutions” which was said to require “specific external support.”

The six monthly review of all Welsh health boards, carried out by Welsh Government, Audit Wales and Healthcare Inspectorate Wales officials, concluded that while progress had been made, further assurances are needed for some key fields.

“The group acknowledged the positive way in which Betsi Cadwaladr UHB had responded to the pandemic over recent months, recognising that the trend had affected north Wales on a more sustained basis to the rest of Wales,” Mr Gething’s written statement said.

“It reviewed evidence submitted by the health board that demonstrated progress over recent years including on the areas which had originally been designated as special measures.

“However, there remained concerns on performance and strategic solutions that may require specific external support.

“Specifically, the group wanted some further assurance from the health board in respect of progress in mental health services.

“The group felt it was important for the health board to promote the good work it was doing and to focus on its actions, rather than be distracted by the status label.

“At this stage, there was no recommendation for a change to escalation status.

“To allow for the opportunity for further progress to be considered, the group proposed to have an additional tripartite meeting specifically on Betsi Cadwaladr UHB before the end of the year.”

When the board entered special measures, it was given five main fields to improve, namely:

Governance, leadership and oversight
Mental health services
Maternity services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
GP and primary care services, including out-of-hours services
Reconnecting with the public and regaining the public’s confidence

Glan Clwyd maternity and GP out of hours services have since been taken out of special measures, but for now the other areas remain under Welsh Government scrutiny.

Responding to today’s announcement the Ynys Mon MS and Plaid Cymru health spokesman, Rhun ap Iorwerth, described the current system as “too big and cumbersome”, with “standards suffering as a result of a centralised agenda”.

Reiterating calls for a “new health and care landscape in the north”, in a speech over the weekend he described reorganisation in the region as “well overdue.”
Reacting to today’s announcement he said: “Thanks to all the staff doing their best in difficult circumstances.

“This (remaining in special measures) confirms my belief that the Health Board has to go.  A fresh start is needed, for staff and patients across north Wales.”

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been given an opportunity to comment.

Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: [email protected]
Latest News

  • Flintshire company keeps Wembley and Wimbledon dry on its road to Net Zero
  • Severe funding cuts threaten Welsh general practice, says BMA Cymru
  • Five day junior doctors strike in England to impact Countess of Chester Hospital services

  • More...

    Flintshire company keeps Wembley and Wimbledon dry on its road to Net Zero

    News

    Severe funding cuts threaten Welsh general practice, says BMA Cymru

    News

    Five day junior doctors strike in England to impact Countess of Chester Hospital services

    News

    Powells Jewellery Ladies Day: Ella Henderson set for Chester Racecourse performance

    News

    Police renew appeal to find man wanted in connection with ‘multiple domestic offences’

    News

    Welsh Government teams up with OpenAI to enhance ChatGPT in Welsh

    News

    Senedd: ‘Overwhelming support’ for ban on politicians lying

    News

    Landmark Welsh democracy reforms including expanding Senedd to 96 MS’s, becomes law

    News

    Deestriders shine in races across UK

    News