Eluned Morgan survives vote of no confidence over Betsi Cadwaladr health board

The Welsh Parliament debated a motion of no confidence in Eluned Morgan.

Wales’ health minister survived a vote of no confidence amid calls for her to step down over her handling of failings at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The Welsh Parliament debated a motion of no confidence in Eluned Morgan on Wednesday (March 22), with the Welsh Conservatives leading calls for the minister to go.

Betsi Cadwaladr, which runs services in the North, was put back into special measures last week, three years after it had been taken out of them.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was in special measures from 2015 to 2020. Credit: ITV News

First Minister Mark Drakeford strongly defended his health minister and stood by her handling of the troubled health board. Ms Morgan had asked the eleven members of the independent board who’d been put in place to monitor executives to quit their positions.

The Welsh Conservatives say Ms Morgan’s record over the last two years is “damning” with “more than 45,000 people waiting more than two years for treatment in the Welsh NHS”.

Shadow Health Minister, Russell George MS, said: “During the pandemic the Welsh Government said it was ‘foolish’ to plan for the return of routine services post-Covid. Sadly, the Health Minister has continued this approach and whilst other parts of the UK have abolished two years waits for treatment, over 45,000 people in Wales are continuing to wait in pain for years. They deserve answers for why they have been abandoned by the Labour Government that is meant to serve them.

“But this isn’t just about the current incumbent. For twenty-five years the Labour Government in Cardiff has been running the Welsh NHS, the problems around recruitment and retention of doctors and nurses falls at the feet of her predecessors, including the First Minister.”

But, ahead of the debate, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething called the Welsh Tories “utterly debased”.

He added: “Today’s stunt comes from the party that defended Boris Johnson’s behaviour and backed Truss. Using the NHS to distract from that mess is cynical and cheap.

“Eluned Morgan is dedicated and driven by public service. They are anything but.”

'Sick and tired of mismanagement'

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said the health service in Wales is "broken".

He added: "We’ve called for a full inquiry into the mis-management of Betsi Cadwaladr – Welsh Government have denied us that.

"Welsh Government cannot keep doing the same thing and expect things to improve by themselves. In just the last few months patients are waiting longer for treatment than ever before, we’ve seen the slowest ambulance response times on record, and had patients being discharged from hospitals without appropriate care packages lined up to help them.

“This decline has happened on the Health Minister’s and Labour’s watch, and the people of north Wales are tired – sick and tired – of this consistent mis-management. The patients, staff and people of the north of Wales deserve better."