Removing Betsi Cadwaladr from special measures welcomed by Jack Sargeant MS but concerns over mental health services remain
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will come out of special measures with “immediate effect” more than five years after initially being placed under them.
In a statement to the Welsh parliament on Tuesday, Mr Gething said: “I have decided that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will come out of special measures and move into targeted intervention.
My decision is informed by the advice I received following a meeting between the Chief Exec of NHS Wales, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and Audit Wales.”
Mr Gething told Senedd members: “We have seen improvements across the health board and have greater confidence that it will make further progress.”
He said: “Throughout the pandemic the organisation has worked hard to play its role in caring for people affected by the virus.”
“During what has been an unsettling time for public health across the world, I’m pleased to announce this positive news for North Wales and NHS Wales.”
Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant welcomed the move to step the health board down from special measures and move to “targeted intervention” which is still a heightened level of escalation.
The Deeside politician did however raise concerns with the minister around mental health services in North Wales and the health board performance on elective surgery.
The Labour MS also asked the health minister about GP provision and does it need to be better in towns like Saltney.
The health minister answered the three main points raised by Mr Sargeant, he said “there is a particular concern” with regards to mental health services.
“There has been progress on mental health, but there’s definitely more to go.” Mr Gething said.
He said, “I want to reassure the Member that mental health is very much in our minds—again, about the unfinished improvement journey that is still required.”
“But undeniably, mental health services in North Wales are in a better place now than when the organisation was placed into special measures five years ago.”
On GP services, and Saltney the minister said, “there’s good news in that every scheme in North Wales for GP training has recruited or over-recruited to its capacity, so we’re attracting people to work right across the whole country.”
On elective surgery Mr Gething said, “North Wales has a bigger challenge than other parts of Wales” he said that’s because a number of people travel over the border for healthcare.
Mr Gething said: “We can be confident that the English system will have a huge catch-up in terms of its elective capacity as well.”
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