Posted: Mon 19th Feb 2024

Senedd motion urges Welsh Government to address healthcare woes in North Wales a year after Betsi went into special measures

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 19th, 2024

The Welsh Conservatives will step up their scrutiny of the Labour Government’s handling of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

This week it will be one year since Betsi was placed back into special measures.

The North Wales health board was previously subjected to special measures between June 2015 and November 2020.

The Auditor General for Wales released a report last week detailing the progress made by BCUHB a year after it was put into special measures.

In February 2023, the Auditor General published a report in the public interest that described a worrying level of dysfunctionality within the board at BCUHB.

The report highlighted a need for immediate action to address fractured working relationships between the health board’s senior leaders that were fundamentally compromising the board’s ability to tackle the substantial challenges the organisation faces.

Following significant changes to the board membership over the last 12 months, and a period of upheaval and churn, the follow-up report published last week describes a board that is now more stable.

The report, while acknowledging improvements, also highlighted persistent challenges facing Wales’ largest health board.

The Welsh Tories say it was “conveniently taken out of special measures six months prior to the 2021 Senedd elections.”

The health board has the dubious distinction of spending more time in special measures than any other NHS organisation in the history of the National Health Service.

“Regretfully, patients and staff are still yet to see the improvements that they have been promised by Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay,” the Conservatives have said.

“Report after report has highlighted the problems, yet the Labour Government continues to seem incapable of getting to grips with the failings and problems that they expose.”

In the Senedd on Wednesday, 21 February, the Welsh Conservatives are bringing forward a Senedd motion ahead of one year since Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was placed back into special measures.

The motion will call on the Labour Government to listen to the concerns of healthcare professionals when concerns are raised about the quality of services, and ensure patients in North Wales get the timely, high-quality healthcare that they deserve.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow North Wales Minister, Darren Millar MS, said:

“The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is nearing yet another anniversary in special measures, but patients and staff are yet to see the improvements they have been promised by Labour Ministers.

“Report after report highlights problems, yet the Labour Government seems incapable of getting to grips with the failings and problems they expose.

“This week, we will be calling on the Labour Government to listen to the concerns of healthcare professionals, patients and their loved ones, and ensure that the people of North Wales get the timely, high-quality healthcare that they deserve.”

The motion set to be debated underscores the recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

It also highlights the prolonged period the health board has spent under special measures and the regrettable lack of progress since its reinstatement into this status.

The call to action for the Welsh Government is clear: listen and act on the concerns raised about service quality to ensure that patients in North Wales receive the care they deserve.

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