Wales politics

Betsi Cadwaladr: Extra help for troubled NHS board

Betsi Cadwaladr health board sign
Image caption The health board serving north Wales has been in special measures since 2015

A troubled health board has been promised extra funding and new troubleshooters to boost performance.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said Betsi Cadwaladr, serving north Wales, had made progress since the board was put in special measures in 2015.

But he said parts of the service were still not good enough, with mental health care needing "urgent" attention.

A former NHS boss will advise the board on governance, while a new "turnaround" director and team will also be hired.

Betsi Cadwaladr - the largest health board in Wales with an annual budget of £1.3bn - is already at the highest level of government intervention.

Despite praise for progress in some areas - such as maternity services - Mr Gething said the board continued to face "significant challenges" and needed extra support.

"In particular it has been disheartening and unacceptable that during 2017/18 issues have escalated in relation to the financial position and some key areas of performance," he said.

'No illusion'

The minister said the Welsh Government had already increased its oversight, including his personal chairing of monthly accountability meetings since July.

He said David Jenkins, a former chair of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board in south east Wales, is being appointed to advise the board on governance and performance progress.

In a statement, Betsi Cadwaladr chief executive Gary Doherty said the health board was "under no illusion about the scale of the challenge ahead".

"Plans are in place to deliver reductions in waiting times this year and we have developed plans in a range of key areas such as ophthalmology and orthopaedics to build on this going forward," he said.

"We have a financial recovery plan in place for this year which we are on track to deliver and we are working to finalise our plans for next year and beyond."

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies asked if any Welsh Labour politicians were "willing to take responsibility" for their role.

"Betsi has been under Welsh Government control - special measures - for over two years, yet things are only getting worse", he said on Twitter.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites