But while the direction of travel is positive, there is still much that needs to be done
The Auditor General for Wales and Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) have called on Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to continue to show “energetic, brave and visible leadership” to build on the progress they have already made to improve services.
The joint report between the Wales Audit Office (WAO) and HIW looks at the progress made since an initial review in 2013 and subsequent follow-up reviews. The review has been delivered outside of the special measures framework and looks at a number of themes including the effectiveness of the board, the structure of the organisation, strategic planning and quality and safety arrangements.
Overall, the report highlights that from a challenging position in 2013, leadership has strengthened, the Board is working more effectively, and there has been a fundamental change in the organisational structure. We also highlight that the special measures they are under are helping to focus attention in the right places.
However, several challenges highlighted previously are still evident. The most crucial of these is the lack of a clear plan for how clinical services in North Wales should be reshaped, and how this can be done on a basis that is clinically and financially viable in the long term. In addition, despite the strengthening of quality and safety arrangements, more work is required to enhance learning and quality improvement.
Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas said today: “This report highlights the good work that has been done by the board to respond to the issues and challenges they have faced. However, I would encourage the Board and senior staff to show energetic, brave and visible leadership as they continue to address the issues faced.”
Kate Chamberlain, Chief Executive of HIW said today: “This report demonstrates that while the health board is moving in the right direction, some significant issues remain. The most crucial of these is the agreement of a clear plan for the long-term shape of clinical services in North Wales, which is fundamental to the ongoing delivery of safe and sustainable care.”