Targeted intervention measures taken after 'serious concerns' over leadership at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd

Credit: Syndication

Measures will be taken to improve the situation at a Denbighshire hospital after the Health Minister raised "serious and outstanding concerns about the leadership".

Ysbty Glan Clwyd, which falls under Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), has been the subject of a series of damning reports recently.

In February, a report found that some patients experienced substandard care - including one who had received an unnecessary amputation.

In March, the health board announced some patients needing medical treatment would be sent to Liverpool to receive care instead.

The health minister says 'targeted intervention' measures for BCUHB will be extended to include the services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, including the vascular service and the emergency department.

The health minister sought to reassure patients and communities about the concerns.

"This decision reflects serious and outstanding concerns about the leadership, governance and progress in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, including the vascular service and the emergency department" said Eluned Morgan MS on the announcement of the escalation.

“I wish to reassure both patients and communities served by the health board and staff working for it that day-to-day services will not be negatively impacted. However, there are significant areas of concern to be considered by the board.

“Given the seriousness and exceptional nature of this escalation, these arrangements will be monitored closely and reviewed early to ensure progress.”

The targeted intervention measures will:

  • Address the culture and leadership at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd

  • Monitor vascular services after critical reports

  • Deploy national clinical leads to the emergency department

  • Commission an independent assessment of the progress made against recent mental health reviews

  • Appoint a Director of Safety and Improvement

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Targeted Intervention

When BCUHB was de-escalated from Special Measures in 2020 after five years, it was placed into 'targeted 'intervention'.

This is the second highest level of escalation - a framework which is used to reflect levels of concern.

  • Routine arrangements (business as normal)

  • Enhanced monitoring

  • Targeted intervention

  • Special measures

The targeted intervention approach used at BCUHB includes financial support and an agreed framework to support transformation. The areas already under these measures include:

  • Mental Health (adult and children)

  • Strategy, planning and performance

  • Leadership (including governance, transformation and culture)

  • Engagement (patients, public, staff and partners)

The Welsh Conservatives have called for the health board to be placed in special measures once again.

The Welsh Conservatives have called on the government to go further and place BCUHB into special measures.

The Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS said: "The standard of healthcare at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been so low for so long that this was only a matter of time.

"I do not for a moment place the blame at the door of hard-working staff, let down by a system that has failed to get a grip on North Wales’ health board for years, who have suffered as much from burnout and lack of leadership as much as patients have from record-long A&E waits.

"However, the problems go far beyond this one hospital as it is clear the problems facing patients in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd extend from Holyhead to Wrexham, made worse by the decision of the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to take the health board out of special measures six months before an election without proof of improvement.

"The Minister should have used this statement to announce Betsi Cadwaladr was returning to a reformed set of special measures. We hope the Senedd will back our calls to do so in our debate tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Llŷr Gruffydd MS, Plaid Cymru MS for the North Wales region, has accused the Welsh Government of “tinkering with the symptoms rather than tackling the illness” that is “stifling” the health board.

He said: "Frontline workers are doing heroic work, but this Labour Government is fiddling whilst Rome burns.

"Welsh Government must accept that the time has now come for a more fundamental consideration of how services are configured across north Wales.

"If the conclusion they reach is that this current model is the best there is, then so be it – I’ll accept that. But until this government instigates that discussion, ministers have to accept that they will be dragged back to this chamber month after month to give us more of the same excuses and more of the same guff.”