Wales

Betsi Cadwaladr: New health board boss accepts 'challenge'

Betsi Cadwaladr health board sign
Image caption The health board has been placed under Welsh government special measures

The interim head of a north Wales health board has acknowledged the challenge he faces after it was put into special measures.

Simon Dean was appointed to take charge at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board after a report found "institutional abuse" at a mental health unit.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said the move followed longstanding concerns.

On Thursday, Mr Dean met the health board and community health council.

He told the health council, which represents views of patients, that listening to communities would be key in rebuilding public confidence.

'Not the saviour'

He said he accepted the role of leading Wales' largest health board "in full knowledge of what I am taking on".

"We need to acknowledge where we are. I accept the challenge on behalf of the health board. I expect us to be held to account by the minister," he said.

But the deputy chief executive of the NHS in Wales also insisted: "I am one individual. I am not the saviour of the health service in north Wales."

He took up the interim post after the board's chief executive, Prof Trevor Purt, was suspended following Monday's decision to place the health service in special measures.

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