Still a long way to go to re­store faith in Health Board

North Wales Weekly News - - NEWS - BY SAM YAR­WOOD

BETSI Cad­wal­adr health board still has a “long way to go” be­fore it re­gains the trust of the peo­ple of North Wales.

A hun­dred days af­ter be­com­ing the very first health board in Wales to be placed in spe­cial mea­sures passed last week and in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Dean says that although progress has been made in that time, more work is needed to solve a cat­a­logue of prob­lems that re­sulted in it be­ing put there in the first place.

BCUHB was put un­der the in­tense level of scru­tiny by the Welsh Gov­ern­ment af­ter it was rocked by a se­ries of scan­dals.

The most damn­ing was the pub­li­ca­tion of a re­port into the Tawel Fan men­tal health unit where rel­a­tives de­scribed their loved-ones be­ing kept like “an­i­mals in a zoo.”

A re­port into “un­safe” GP Out of Hours ser­vices and mass protests over the board’s pro­pos­als to with­draw con­sul­tant-led ma­ter­nity ser­vices at Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd sealed its fate, with Assem­bly elec­tions com­ing up next May.

Mr Dean was ap­pointed as tem­po­rary boss in June fol­low­ing the sus­pen­sion of Trevor Purt and asked the board to pre­pare 100 day plans for each of the trou­bled ar­eas which were in­tended to make sure that there was a fo­cus on the key pri­or­i­ties, de­signed to re­store public faith in the health board.

Mr Dean said: “I be­lieve that we have started to make real progress, although of course there is a long way to go. Although much of our work is tak­ing place be­hind the scenes, there are also very vis­i­ble ac­tions tak­ing place.”

Mr Dean says when he first ar­rived at BCUHB, it was “im­me­di­ately clear” the num­ber of ded­i­cated staff who were all anx­ious to de­liver first-class health ser­vices for the peo­ple of North Wales and the prob­lems that had arisen in some parts of the or­gan­i­sa­tion – and the way they were viewed by the public – were hav­ing a neg­a­tive in­flu­ence on morale.

Deputy Health Min­is­ter Vaughan Gething to­day ac­knowl­edged im­prove­ments had been made but the said BCUHB would re­main in spe­cial mea­sures for the “fore­see­able fu­ture”.

Tory Shadow Health Min­is­ter Dar­ren Mil­lar AM said de­spite prom­ises “lit­tle had changed” and it was time for the Labour Gov­ern­ment to step up and de­liver im­prove­ments. He said: “The peo­ple of North Wales are fed up with apolo­gies and ex­cuses for fail­ure.”

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