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Betsi Cadwaladr warning shows special measures status is political, says Welsh Conservative

The Health Minister has delivered an ultimatum to North Wales’ health board, stating that if recent report recommendations are not implemented, she will return it to direct control by the Cardiff Bay Government.

Baroness Morgan confirmed in a statement today that the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has three months to implement planned actions or it could be put back into special measures.

It follows a damning report by the Royal College of Surgeons into vascular services in the region’s healthcare.

BCUHB was previously in special measures – direct Labour Government control and the highest level of escalation – for more than five years before then Labour Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, removed the status early in 2021, just months before the Senedd elections.

The Welsh Conservatives have long said that there was little to justify the decision given the lack of visible progress in the delivery of North Wales’ healthcare services, pointing to several reports over the last year and regularly poor performance in emergency care as evidence that the decision to remove BCUHB from special measures shortly before an election was a political one.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Minister for North Wales Darren Millar MS said:“The failure of the Welsh Labour Government to deliver the improvements they have promised in healthcare for people across North Wales is a scandal.

“Today’s statement by the Health Minister amounts to an admission that the decision to withdraw special measures last year was political, and not based on evidence of significant improvement.

“The Welsh Government has shown itself to be hopelessly incapable of turning Betsi around. Instead of playing politics we now need some ‘extra-special measures’ to ensure that patients in North Wales get the timely, high

quality healthcare that they deserve.”