Posted: Tue 7th Jun 2022

Targeted intervention measures in North Wales extended to cover services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 7th, 2022

Targeted intervention measures for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be extended to include services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Today’s decision, made following a tripartite meeting as part of the NHS Wales Escalation Framework, follows ongoing concerns relating to the health board in a number of areas – with a particular focus on the vascular service and the emergency department.

In May it was reported that the Emergency Department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been designated a ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’ by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

The designation is based on an accumulation of evidence, originating in January 2022, leading to the completion of a Quality Check on 8 March 2022 and an unannounced onsite inspection that took place on 3-5 May 2022.

Several patient safety concerns were identified during this period.

The targeted intervention measures will;

  • Support cultural change and promote leadership at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd
  • Continue to monitor centralised vascular services
  • Deploy national clinical leads to the Emergency Department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd to address the concerns identified by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales.
  • Commission an independent assessment of the progress that has been made against recent mental health reviews.

The Health Minister has also asked the health board to review current governance, audit and effectiveness capacity and work with Improvement Cymru to invest in a rapid education and support programme for improvement skills.

It will also be asked to ensure that a senior appointment is made to Director of Safety and Improvement post. This individual will support the new Executive Director of Nursing to embed improvement and shared governance across the health board.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “This decision reflects serious and outstanding concerns about the leadership, governance and progress in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, including the vascular service and the emergency department.

“I wish to reassure both patients and communities served by the health board and staff working for it that day to day services will not be negatively impacted. However, there are significant areas of concern to be considered by the board.

“Given the seriousness and exceptional nature of this escalation, these arrangements will be monitored closely and reviewed early to ensure progress.”

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said: “The standard of healthcare at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been so low for so long that this was only a matter of time.

“I do not for a moment place the blame at the door of hard-working staff, let down by a system that has failed to get a grip on North Wales’ health board for years, who have suffered as much from burnout and lack of leadership as much as patients have from record-long A&E waits.

“However, the problems go far beyond this one hospital as it is clear the problems facing patients in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd extend from Holyhead to Wrexham, made worse by the decision of the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to take the health board out of special measures six months before an election without proof of improvement.

“The Minister should have used this statement to announce Betsi Cadwaladr was returning to a reformed set of special measures. We hope the Senedd will back our calls to do so in our debate tomorrow.”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Chairman Mark Polin and Chief Executive Jo Whitehead said: “Keeping our patients safe and providing them with high quality care remains our top priority, and we are determined to make sustained, steady progress in order to improve their experience and outcomes, wherever in North Wales they live.

“We are a large, complex organisation and our teams have been working hard to make the necessary improvements. We know that we have more to do and are absolutely determined to speed up the pace of change and deliver high quality services.

“As Denbighshire residents, we are personally invested in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd; it is our local hospital and our nearest emergency department and we want the same safe, high quality services for our families that local people do. We are committed to making this happen.”

Medical Director at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Balasundaram Ramesh said: “We have deeply committed staff at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd who have worked tirelessly over the course of the pandemic, under extremely difficult circumstances. This decision is no reflection on them and we remain deeply grateful for their enduring efforts.

“We are committed to providing our teams with the right skills, tools and support to practice continuous improvement in their daily work. We have already established an expert transformation and improvement team and look forward to working with Improvement Cymru to further invest in a rapid education and support programme for improvement skills for our staff.

“Over the last year we have undertaken comprehensive engagement with staff at all levels to listen to their views to help us improve all elements of their experience at work. We will build on this strong foundation to further strengthen the connections between the ward and Board.

“I too live locally with my family in Colwyn Bay and I am determined, along with my colleagues, to continue to make the improvements to our services that local people deserve.”

A further tripartite meeting will take place no later than the end of October 2022.

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