North Wales' health services have been subject to fresh troubles today as Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board's 'Escalation and Intervention' arrangements have now been raised to only one position below being in special measures.
In a letter to the Welsh Assembly's Public Accounts Committee, the Chief Executive of NHS Wales Dr Andrew Goodall said that the health board needed support to ensure it was able to address the challenges it faces. It has stated that its escalation status should be raised to the category of 'Targeted Intervention' which is one step away from being placed into special measures.
Aled Roberts, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales, said:
"Following all the troubles and scandals surrounding health services in north Wales, we have been led to believe that Betsi Cadwaladr was on an 'improvement journey' and things were getting better. Clearly some people at the top have been sticking their heads in the sand, as what I've heard today shows that this is not the case. It is completely unacceptable that today is the first time we've heard about any concerns through official channels.
"Time and time against patients are getting in touch with me about the length of time they have been forced to wait for treatment. This health board remains in major trouble and the Welsh Labour Government needs to take immediate action.
"I will be attempting to raise this urgent matter in the Assembly Chamber this afternoon and make sure the Welsh Labour Government is held to account, not only on their plans to sort this out but also on their transparency over these sorts of issues."