Betsi Cadwaladr health board faces prosecution over death at mental health unit
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) is facing prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive following the death of a patient at a mental health unit.
The north Wales health board is facing action after a patient died at the Hergest mental health unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor in April 2021.
It is accused of breaching part of the Health and Safety at Work Act and the first hearing is set take place at Llandudno Magistrates’ Court on August 3.
The health board was placed back into special measures on February 27 this year.
Health and Social Services Minister, Eluned Morgan said it was due to “serious concerns around the performance of the health board”.
BCUHB interim deputy chief executive and executive medical director, Dr Nick Lyons, said: “This is a very tragic case and our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of the patient.
“On behalf of the health board, I want to reiterate how deeply sorry I am for the failures in the care we provided.
“We are unable to comment further until the hearing has concluded.”
Responding to the news, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Member of the Senedd for Ynys Môn and Plaid Cymru spokesperson on Health and Care said: “My thoughts go out to the family involved in this patient’s case.
“The continued scandals surrounding Hergest and Mental Health services in BCUHB are hugely worrying and this tragic event – and others that we are aware of – unfortunately, demonstrate that Welsh Government and the Health Board have not had a firm enough grip on improving the service.
“This follows years of ongoing failings in mental health care in north Wales where patients have been exposed to risks.
“We can’t forget that Betsi Cadwaladr was first placed in special measures back in 2015 due to concerns with mental health services – the people of north Wales expect and deserve an improved service.
“This incident only reiterates that the health board was not ready to come out of those special measures when it did in 2020.
“Welsh Government must now get to the root cause of the issues within Mental Health once and for all.”
In a statement the Welsh Government said: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this sad death. We are unable to comment further while the hearing is ongoing.”
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