£83 million Government spend on Betsi special measures
The Welsh Government has spent £83million on propping up North Wales’health board.
In 2015 the government placed the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) in special measures, the severest form of government supervision.
Since then the Welsh Labour run government has spent £83million on intervening in how the board has run.
This has included £3.4million in 2018/19 on winter planning, £10.3million for financial planning support in 2015/16 and £2.3million on secondary care in 2019/20.
The spending has been described as “staggering” by Aberconwy Conservative AM, Janet Finch-Saunders.
She said: “The staggering costs to date of £83million associated with the Welsh Government interventions and special measures placed upon the BCUHB will be of further concern to those patients across North Wales who have been waiting a number of agonising months to access appropriate and timely health treatment.
“Indeed, I know of several of my own constituents in Aberconwy on whose behalf I am currently intervening, who are very anxious and frustrated with ongoing delays to their own treatment regime.
“Some have been advised of over 62 week waits for pain relieving operations and treatments.
“We are now approaching the fifth year that this health board has been under Welsh Labour Government interventions and yet there are no signs of any real improvements.
“The ongoing millions spent could have provided many individual hospital procedures.
“It is now time for the First Minister Mark Drakeford AM to intervene in to this health board himself directly.
“Quite frankly, there are so many locally who have lost all confidence in the current health minister, Vaughan Gething AM and any hopes of his direction resolving the difficulties facing this board.”
But a Welsh Government spokesman said the spending was necessary as it included investment for hospital procedures in planned care and recent investment included £1.75million for musculoskeletal and orthopaedic services and almost £12million for referral to treatment and diagnostic waits.
He said: “Under special measures we have put in place robust arrangements to hold the health board to account in making improvements. Progress has been made, with maternity services and GP out-of-hours services now out of special measures. Focus is now on the remaining areas of concern, including unscheduled care where performance has stabilised in recent months despite increased demand. The health minister will be publishing a revised special measures framework in November setting out what the health board needs to do to come out of special measures.”
By Shane Brennan – Local Democracy Reporter
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