AM slams appointment of Interim Chief Executive at troubled Health Board

Following today’s announcement that the Chief Executive of North Wales' troubled health board is stepping down, Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has expressed concern regarding his interim replacement.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board announced earlier today that Gary Doherty is standing down as Chief Executive of the board this month, and that Simon Dean, currently the Deputy Chief Executive, will replace him as Interim Chief Executive from February 10th.  

Announcing the move, BCUHB Chair Mark Polin said the board recognised improvements to the running of services in North Wales needed to come faster in future.

The health board has been in special measures since 2015, with Mr Doherty in charge since 2016.

Darren welcomes the fact that the Health Board has finally accepted that change is needed, but has criticised the decision to appoint Simon Dean.   

He said:

“While I am pleased to see an acknowledgment from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board that its performance has been unacceptable and that there is a need for change, I am concerned that the appointment of Simon Dean as Interim Chief Executive feels somewhat like Groundhog Day.

“As the Deputy Chief Executive of NHS Wales, Mr Dean is collectively responsible for the failure to improve services at the Health Board while it has been in special measures and I fail to see how appointing him as a caretaker CEO is going to deliver the sort of change that patients want to see.

“The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has seen record poor performance in recent months and it will require strong leadership with a robust accountability system to put that right.”

He added:

“It is essential that senior leaders in the NHS are not rewarded for failure when they leave Welsh Health Boards; I very much hope that Betsi has taken this into account with regards Gary Doherty’s departure arrangements.”