Response from Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales MS, to the appointment of Jo Whitehead as the next Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board chief executive:
“I wish the new chief executive all the best in what must be one of the most challenging roles in Welsh public life. The health board has had a succession of chief executives over the past decade that have all failed to address the fundamental problems facing health care in north Wales.
“There have been the ongoing scandals of mental health, the failure of infection control, the lack of recruitment of health professionals and poor management at the most senior level in terms of providing the specialist and community care needed by the region’s residents. There’s a lot that needs putting right in Betsi and it’s disappointing that it has taken a whole year to bring in a new chief executive considering the last one left in January.
“I sincerely hope the new chief executive, who won’t start her new post until next year, can rise to that challenge and be the leader that’s needed to take BCUHB out of special measures. I’m happy to work with her and the interim CEO Gill Harris in the meantime to get the health services people in north Wales need and deserve.
“However, this does feel like the last chance for BCUHB as an entity. If this doesn’t succeed, then we have to look at a more comprehensive restructuring of health services in the North rather than relentlessly re-arranging the deckchairs.”