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Health board slammed over patient safety concerns at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd

18 May 2022 3 minute read
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Emergency Department. Photo via Google

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has come under fire following the announcement yesterday that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Emergency Department has been identified as a Service Requiring Significant Improvement by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.

The announcement from the Inspectorate comes after a meeting last week in accordance with its escalation process and an investigation dating back to January.

During an unannounced onsite inspection that took place between 3-5 May a numbery of patient safety concerns were identified and during that inspection HIW also identified areas where Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s actions in response to a previous Quality Check had failed to lead to any improvement.

A statement from HIW said: “Our service of concern process for the NHS was introduced in November 2021 and is used when HIW identifies significant service failures, or when there is an accumulation of concerns about a service or setting”.

It added, the intention of the process is to “support improvement and learning, both for the service in question, and across NHS services more broadly”.

Unfit for purpose

In response to the Inspectorate’s designation, Plaid Cymru MS Llyr Gruffydd said the Betsi Cadwaladr health board was “unfit for purpose” and urged the Welsh Government to reform health services in the north of Wales.

“Time’s up for Betsi. For too long, we’ve been waiting for improvements that never arrive. For too long, we’ve been made promises that it’s all in hand, when it’s now clear the opposite is true,” he said.

“This latest announcement adds to concerns that Betsi Cadwaladr has long been unfit for purpose – that it is too big and cumbersome for the communities it is meant to serve. From serious failings in vascular services to a mental health service mired in problems, how much more evidence do we need of patient safety being at risk?

“The time has come for the Welsh Government to start a wider conversation about reforming health services in the north of Wales. They say ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ but it’s clear that it IS broken, and it DOES need fixing.”

Immediate action

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, Darren Millar, also called on the Welsh Government to take immediate action following yesterday’s announcement.

“It is alarming that in spite of being given the opportunity to develop an action plan and implement change, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been incapable of being able to demonstrate sufficient progress against several key areas of concern relating to patient safety and quality of care,” he said.

“I find it appalling that a Health Board that was previously in special measures – under direct Welsh Government control – does not appear to have the capacity or ability to address serious concerns about patient safety quickly.

“Patients in North Wales deserve better and with ongoing concerns over mental health services, vascular services and other aspects of care Cardiff based Ministers urgently need to get a grip of this situation and deliver the improvements we so desperately need.”

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