Betsi Cadwaladr health board appoints new chief executive

Gary Doherty the new chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Image copyright BBC/Handout
Image caption Gary Doherty will take over as chief executive

The troubled health board which serves north Wales has appointed a new chief executive.

The former head of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Prof Trevor Purt, stepped down in October after it was placed in special measures for two years.

On Monday, the board announced Gary Doherty would take up the role.

Mr Doherty has held the equivalent post at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust since April 2013.

Chair of the board, Dr Peter Higson, said he was "confident" Mr Doherty could "build on the improvements" made by Simon Dean, who took over as interim boss in June, after Prof Purt's suspension.

"Gary is hugely capable and experienced and has led an extensive programme of improvement at Blackpool with success.

'Skills and qualities'

"He possesses the skills and qualities that we were seeking and that are so important in a chief executive, and on behalf of the board, I warmly welcome him to north Wales."

Betsi Cadwaladr has been under the highest level of Welsh government intervention for six months.

A report in May found "institutional abuse" at the Tawel Fan mental health ward Denbighshire's Glan Clwyd Hospital.

In June, it emerged there was a fraud investigation into aspects of the board's spending plans.

Two weeks ago the board announced contentious plans to suspend consultant-led maternity care at Glan Clwyd Hospital had been scrapped.

Mr Doherty, who has worked at the NHS for 20 years, said he was "very proud" to have come through the "tough" recruitment process, adding: "While we face many challenges I know that we have many strengths to build on."

He said his "key focus" would be listening to the voices of patients, staff, the public and partners to keep up the "rapid improvements" while also building a "long-term vision for the future".

His start date is yet to be agreed.

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