Around 300 people have taken to the streets to demonstrate their opposition to health service changes in North Wales.
A coroner said a North Wales health authority should review cases of patients who have been treated for moles at a GP surgery in Colwyn Bay.
Hywel Dda health chiefs agree a plan to cut services in some smaller hospitals and re-invest millions of pounds in new community facilities.
The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, has welcomed the report into Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board. He says that the Chairman of the Health Board has confirmed his wish to resign, and that the Chief Executive of NHS Wales has been asked to appoint a successor.
I welcome this report from WAO and HIW. It is clear the board has been through a difficult period; however, many fundamental challenges still remain within the organisation.
The Chair has formally notified me of his wish to resign and I have accepted his resignation. The Chief Executive has also informed me of her intention to leave the organisation and the health board is currently working through the detail of her departure.
– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister
I wish to pay tribute to the efforts of the Chair and Chief Executive but I have asked David Sissling, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, to move forward swiftly to appoint their successors and enable the health board to begin a fresh chapter.
David has already taken robust steps to address the issues faced by the health board prior to today’s report being issued, and I will ask him to consider the report’s findings and inform me what further action is necessary.
The Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is standing down after a report found failings which put patient's safety at risk.
– Prof Merfyn Jones, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Chairman
Under the circumstances, I believe it is appropriate that I stand down as Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and I have informed the Minister of my intention to do so as soon as appropriate alternative arrangements are in place.
There are many fundamental challenges for the Board but I am confident that these will be responded to positively to deliver the necessary improvements and I shall continue to contribute fully during this transitional period.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will today formally receive a report by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office following their joint review of our governance arrangements. The report identified significant failings and major challenges for the Board which we recognise and accept.
– Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board statement
Although steps have already been taken to tackle some of the issues, the Health Board is determined to respond to these matters in full and will ensure that the report’s recommendations are addressed as a priority.
Our progress will be subject to ongoing review and scrutiny by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the Wales Audit Office and Welsh Government.
– Chief Executive of HIW, Kate Chamberlain
"The Health Board's current governance arrangements and procedures do not adequately address the gap between the ward and the Board. We have concerns that the Board's governance arrangements and organisational structure are compromising its ability to properly identify issues concerning the quality and safety of patient care."
– Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas
"The effectiveness of the Board has been significantly compromised by a breakdown in working relationships between some senior leaders in the organisation. There has been a lack of cohesion in the way executive directors work together and the report raises further concerns about the stability and capacity of the executive team as a result of staff turnover and sickness absence.
"Encouragingly, the Board recognises the scale of the challenges ahead and that strong leadership from the Chair and clinical leaders will be vital. The pace at which problems are tackled must accelerate."
Key points raised in the report include:
- Routine governance arrangements within the Health Board have not paid sufficient attention to infection control
- Effectiveness of the Board has been significantly compromised by a breakdown in working relationships between some senior leaders in the organisation
- There has been a lack of cohesion in the way executive directors work together
- The report raises further concerns about the stability and capacity of the executive team as a result of staff turnover and sickness absence.
“This report raises significant concerns about the management of Betsi Cadwaladr University Board particularly at a time when the entire health sector in Wales is undergoing seismic changes in both its funding and structure.
“That the apparent breakdown in working relationships between some of the Board’s senior leaders has compromised its ability to properly identify issues concerning the quality and safety of patient care is disturbing.
– Darren Millar AM, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee,
“I thank both the Wales Audit Office and Health Inspectorate Wales for bringing this matter to the fore.
“The Public Accounts Committee has agreed to take urgent evidence on this issue at its meeting on 18 July.”
A joint report by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and the Wales Audit Office (WAO) has revealed failings in the way Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is run. The report looks at the corporate, clinical and financial challenges facing the health board.
Some of the issues arising from the report include lack of clarity around accountability arrangements and deepening concerns over how services are delivered.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has been telling AMs why he has asked experts in neonatal care to advise him on whether North Wales could have a 'fully self sufficient' service of its own. But the Welsh Liberal Democrats claim that the review is being sabotaged.
North Wales AM Aled Roberts said Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board wants to transfer facilities from Wrexham Maelor Hospital, though Welsh Government sources say that won't be allowed to happen whilst the review is taking place.
And the Shadow Health Minister, Darren Millar, said that instead of an end to uncertainty, it was 'yet another review and a further delay' in decision making by the First Minister.
Carwyn Jones took responsibility for the decision because his previous health minister, Lesley Griffiths, is AM for Wrexham and had a potential conflict of interest over services at her local hospital.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced that the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health will review whether North Wales can eventually become 'fully self sufficient' in the delivery of specialised neonatal services. At present the sickest babies are treated in England.
Mr Jones had already said that plans for a formal arrangement with Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral must go ahead as an interim solution but he was asked if proposals to move other neonatal care from Wrexham to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd could be delayed so that options for the future were left open.
– Antoinette Sandbach
Will you say to Betsi [Cadwaladr University Health Board] can they put their ... plans on hold until the report and the decision has been made?
– Carwyn Jones, First Minister
I will give thought to that ... I can see that ... any change in neonatal provision may have an affect on the review.
A Welsh Government source has since confirmed that nothing affecting neonatal care in Wrexham, Glan Clwyd and Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor should change until the outcome of the review is known. The First Minister expects to receive the report in September.
– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health
The time has come for Carwyn Jones to end the uncertainty and commit to the retention of long-term neonatal care in North Wales.
The health board has ridden roughshod over the views of local communities and the expert opinions of clinicians have thus far been ignored.
North Wales' baby care services have been left hanging in the balance for far too long and I urge the First Minister to make a swift decision to scrap the Health Board's plans and get behind services in North Wales.
Axing long-term neonatal intensive care in North Wales must not be allowed to go ahead.