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Monday, June 8, 2015

Health board goes into special measures

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which covers Llangollen, is being placed in special measures, the Welsh Government has announced.

And Llangollen county councillor Stuart Davies has called on Health Minister Mark Drakeford and Wales’s First Minister Carwyn Jones to consider their positions.
Following concerns about the leadership, governance and progress in the Health Board, Mr Drakeford asked the Chief Executive of NHS Wales, Dr Andrew Goodall, to bring forward a meeting between the Welsh Government, the Wales Audit Office and Health Inspectorate Wales - as part of the NHS Wales escalation framework - to review and consider the health board’s current status.
Since the introduction of the framework in March 2014, the Health Board has already been raised to Targeted Intervention, the highest of any of the NHS organisations in Wales.

The tripartite meeting, held earlier today (Monday), concluded that the Health Board should be placed in special measures, the highest level of escalation under the framework.

The Minister has accepted their advice. The Chair of the Health Board has been informed of the Minister’s decision.
Mark Drakeford said: “As a result of the meeting that took place earlier today between the Welsh Government and regulators, I can confirm that Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is being placed in special measures.

“This significant decision is made in line with the escalation framework. It reflects serious and outstanding concerns about the leadership, governance and progress in the Health Board over some time. A thorough and balanced assessment has taken place on areas of concern that will form the basis of actions to be taken as a result of special measures.
“Whilst the special measures apply to the Health Board, I want to reassure patients and communities served by the Health Board and staff working for it that day-to-day services and activities will continue as normal.” 

Llangollen councillor Stuart Davies said: “The Health Minister has failed to get a grip of these issues and should consider his position.
“Presiding over all of this unholy mess – don’t forget that two health authorities in South Wales are badly overspent - is the First Minister, Carwyn Jones. He should be considering his position, too.

“Next year is Welsh Assembly election time and the NHS in Wales is in meltdown.”
Referring to his recent appearance as a questioner of BBC’s Question Time when it came to Wrexham a few months ago, Cllr Davies added: “I was right when asked the question by David Dimbleby,  is the NHS better in England than Wales? The answer was correct. Yes.”

Further actions and interventions as part of the special measures will now be considered by the Welsh Government, with advice and support from regulators.
The Health Minister is due to make an oral statement to the Assembly tomorrow (Tuesday 9th June 2015).

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: "We have become increasingly concerned about recent developments at the Health Board on behalf of our residents. We want to reassure the public that following the latest developments,  the Council, as a responsible local authority, will work constructively with the Minister for Health and Social Services to play our part in supporting the turn around and improvement of health services in North Wales. We await the Minister's next statement this week when we will find out the finer details of the steps the Welsh Government will be taking."

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