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Denbighshire Council leader criticises local health board ‘residents deserve better’

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (Pic: NHS Wales)

RESIDENTS in Denbighshire deserve better than the former board of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, says the leader of Denbighshire council.

Council leader Cllr Jason McLellan called the running of Betsi Cadwaladr ‘shocking’, following the revelation that the health board had been placed back in special measures.

Health minister Eluned Morgan announced this week that there were serious concerns about the performance, leadership, and culture of the board.

Consequently, chairman Mark Polin, vice-chair Lucy Reid, and independent members of the board have all agreed to step aside.

Former Gwynedd council leader Dyfed Edwards will now take over as temporary chairman and new independent members will also be appointed to the board.

But speaking at a Denbighshire County Council meeting this morning, Cllr Jason McLellan slammed Betsi’s former leadership and said North Wales’ residents deserved better.

“I think it is fair to say, stepping back for a minute, that the report is shocking. There is no getting away from it,” said Cllr McLellan.

“Our residents, whom we represent, deserve much, much better than this. They deserve a health board which is run by a functional board.

“I would urge you to read the report. It’s worrying. As a council, we will do what we can to support the newly constituted board and indeed any changes to the executive team as well.”

But Cllr McLellan said the failings of the health board were not the fault of NHS staff.

“I also want to stress in making this statement that the report really does focus on the executive board, on the leadership, and it is in no way a reflection on the brilliant, dedicated, and hard-working staff of the health board,” he said.

“When you read the report, you’ll see there are huge concerns at the higher level and at a strategic level.

“Denbighshire County Council will work very closely with the new team, and we will support the board in delivering the improvements needed to address the many, many failings (included) in the report.”

He added: “We are elected to represent our residents, and our residents clearly – and the people of north Wales – deserve much better than this.”