Wales

New Betsi boss: Welsh NHS 'less fragmented' than England

Gary Doherty, chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Image copyright BBC/Handout

A troubled health board's new boss has said the structure of the NHS in Wales is better than the one in England.

Gary Doherty was appointed chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr health board in February after moving from an NHS trust in Blackpool.

"There's less fragmentation here, what you've got are GPs, hospital doctors, community nurses and other staff all in the same organisation," he said.

His predecessor stepped down after the board was placed in special measures.

Mr Doherty criticised the English NHS, saying because GPs, hospital staff and other employees work for different organisations, they sometimes end up competing with each other rather than working together.

"One of the reasons why I wanted to come is here is because it is different and because I think it is better," he added.

"The way those organisations worked with each other with contracts and other things I don't think was particularly helpful in England.

"You could make it work if you had good relationships, but here, we've got an organisational advantage."

Mr Doherty said improving waiting times in accident and emergency departments in north Wales was essential in order to get the health board out of special measures.

"What happens in A&E is in a sense a measure of a bigger system that we need to change, whether it's what happens in a patients own home, whether it's what happens with their GP or what happens on discharge, either to a nursing home or the patient's own home."

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