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MS calls for investigation after claims of bullying and poor working conditions at Ysbyty Gwynedd

18 May 2022 3 minute read
Rhun ap Iorwerth. Picture by Plaid Cymru.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on Health and Care, Rhun ap Iorwerth, has called for an independent investigation about working conditions and treatment of staff at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Mr ap Iorwerth has written to the Chief Executive and Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board asking for serious and urgent action after receiving an anonymous email outlining concerns raised by a number of nurses at the hospital.

He initially raised the issue with the Health Minister, Eluned Morgan MS in the Senedd last week, where he asked for an assurance that the concerns – which include bullying in the workplace, pressure to move from specialist areas to other wards and departments placing patients at risk, unreasonably long working hours, a poor relationship with management resulting in low morale and many staff leaving – would be taken seriously.

As a result of that contribution more nurses have been in touch with the Ynys Môn MS, to thank him for bringing up the matter, and to share their experiences, echoing concerns raised by the whistle blower who initially got in touch.

‘Deeply saddened’

“I was deeply saddened to learn about the very serious concerns of our nurses. Initially one nurse gathered together evidence from her colleagues and passed them to me anonymously as they were so fearful of repercussions,’ Mr ap Iorwerth said.

“After I brought them to the attention of the Health Minister in the Senedd, nurse after nurse made contact with me to confirm and emphasise the concerns.

“I have therefore written to BCUHB, calling on them to conduct an independent investigation. It’s clear to me that there’s a lack of trust in the Health Board’s whistleblowing processes, and our nurses must be given the opportunity to be heard.”

Amongst the correspondence received, many nurses have confirmed that they have left their posts at Ysbyty Gwynedd or the profession entirely, and many have stated that they are actively considering handing in their notice.

“What’s hugely worrying is the impact that the current working conditions are having on staff numbers and morale. Some have concluded that they want to leave their posts, and that many have already left,” he added.

“At a time when we face staff shortages following the pandemic, we need to be looking at new ways of attracting new nurses to the profession and increasing training places. But we must also be able to retain the staff we already have, with their invaluable experience and knowledge.”

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