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£68 million bailout for overspending health boards

The Welsh Government is giving an extra £68.4 million to the health boards serving north and west Wales. Both Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda University Health Boards were on course to overspend their budgets before the end of the financial year. The Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford, says the money will be found from the Welsh Government's reserves.

After a review of our financial position I am able to confirm the first further transfer from those reserves. I will allocate an additional £68.4 million revenue to the Health, Wellbeing and Sport portfolio. This funding will address the overspends being forecast by Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda University Health Boards in the current financial year.

Both organisations are being managed through the Welsh Government’s escalation and intervention framework, and are expected to deliver to their agreed operational plans.

– Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM

North Wales health board will "not contest" judicial review

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board chiefs say they are "sorry" for worry caused. Credit: ITV Wales

Betsi Cadwaladr health board have confirmed they will not contest a judicial review. The case was due to be heard next week. In a U-turn, the board said they would instead hold a consultation on the future of maternity services.

In a statement Simon Dean, interm chief executive of the health board said their intention now was to seek the views of staff and the public on options for their maternity services in the short term.

We all acknowledge what a difficult period of uncertainty and worry this has been for our staff and patients, for which we are very sorry. We remain extremely concerned about the fragility of the service, which is still short of the required number of doctors across north Wales.

We need to be confident of a robust, safe, fully staffed obstetric service across north Wales that is sustainable for the future. We know there are differing opinions about how best we can achieve this and there are no easy answers.”

– Simon Dean, Interim chief executive, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB


Health board boss sets 100-day target for improvement

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board was put in special measures earlier this month.

The new man in charge of Wales' largest health board has given managers 100 days to start making improvements.

Simon Dean was appointed to lead Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board earlier this month, after the health provider was put in special measures and Trevor Purt, the board's chief executive, was suspended.

At a briefing this morning, Mr Dean said he's asked for a 100-day plan from managers for service improvements, each setting a milestone by which progress can be judged and show that 'rapid progress' is being made.

Mr Dean said key words for the future of the embattled health board are 'clarity, focus, pace and urgency.' He has met with relatives of those treated on the Tawel Fan ward, and said: "We will hold people to account where accountability is required."

Staff at 'zoo like' psychiatric unit to be reported

Ten members of staff from a psychiatric unit where patients were claimed by families to have been treated “like animals” have been reported to their professional bodies.

Credit: ITV Wales News

Wales' First Minister Carwyn Jones has promised that disciplinary action will follow a damning report claiming “institutionalised abuse” at the Tawel Fan ward of the Ablett Unit, at Glan Clwyd Hospital, near Rhyl.

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that no action will be taken against anyone. But a report to next week’s meeting of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board says that seven employees have been referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and three to the General Medical Council.

The Board’s chief executive Professor Trevor Purt has already described the treatment of some patients as “shocking, inexcusable and unacceptable.”

Report gives family's accounts of care on health ward

The family of one patient on Tawel Fan ward of the Ablett Unit at Glan Clwyd Hospital described what they saw as 'like a zoo'.

And it was like when you go in a zoo and see animals that have been captured there for a long time and that's all they've got to do is walk around and around…

– Family of one patient

The report also details one occasion when a patient was complaining of discomfort in their arm. The report says the response from staff was 'Oh [the patient] did complain of a painful arm, but we didn't take much notice really.'

After being taken to A&E, a broken wrist was diagnosed.

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