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Petition calls for Wales’ largest health board to be broken up

21 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Ysbyty Glan Clwyd Emergency Department. Photo via Google

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

North Wales residents unhappy with the running of the health board can now sign a petition for the organisation to be disbanded!

A petition campaigning for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to be broken up into smaller organisations has now gone up on the Senedd website.

While the petition is at 32 signatures at the time of writing, 250 signatures would see the issue discussed by the petitions committee.

10,000 signatures would ensure the subject was considered for debate in the Senedd.

The petition was created by Stefan Coghlan.

The supporting information for the petition reads: “BCUHB has had a series of chief executives and executives who have without exception failed to grapple the huge organisational disaster that is Betsi care.

“Vascular services, stroke services, disastrous Accident and Emergency waits, Mental Health and crippling waiting times for planned surgery are not being dealt with with sufficient urgency.

“The people of North Wales have been let down. The scrutiny of board decisions goes unchallenged, and patients are suffering unnecessarily.

“It’s time to admit that the organisation is far too big and unwieldy to respond to the challenges it faces and break it up into smaller geographical units that respond to the needs of their local populations.”

The petition follows the health board’s chief executive Jo Whitehead announcing she will retire on 23 December 2022.

Family reasons

Ms Whitehead has been in the role since 2021 but says she is leaving the job for family reasons.

Her leaving follows recent critical reports of Wrexham Maelor Hospital’s A&E department, which was ranked the worst in Wales in July, and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s emergency department, which has also been criticised.

There have also been serious concerns raised about vascular services at the health board.

Betsi was in special measures up until two years ago.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is the largest health board in Wales, providing primary, community, mental health, and acute hospital services for a population of around 694,000 people across the counties of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, and Wrexham – as well as parts of Mid Wales.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board declined to comment on the petition.

A health board spokesman commnet: “The chief executive remains in place until December 23 and details of the recruitment process will be revealed in due course.”

Visit here to sign the petition here. 

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1 year ago

I served as an ‘ elected member’ on
Clwyd Health Authority which covered two major district hospitals and several smaller ones. We thought at the time this was two big but when Gwynedd was added plus Montgomeryshire for certain services we all knew this was a way too big. From Hospital’s and clinics from Pwllheli to the outskirts close to Whitchurch and Deeside to Dolgellau and Tywyn the logistics, travel and oversight are.a nightmare.

Individual good practice, staff dedication and superb voluntary local support is offset by dreadful coordination and poor GP to Hospital interactions.

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