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