The Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister Carwyn Jones said there would be an investigation into the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board – which is run by Maria Battle –  during exchanges in the Senedd yesterday with Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies (right)

The First Minister of the Welsh Labour Government –  Carwyn Jones –  has been cornered into giving a less-than-fulsome endorsement of Maria Battle, the beleaguered chair of the much-criticised Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.

As chair of the Health Board, Maria Battle, is in overall charge of running NHS Hospitals and GP services in Cardiff,  Penarth, and across the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Auditor General of Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas

On Monday the Cardiff & Vale Health Board, over which she presides, was castigated by the Auditor General for Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas in a searing report ; the most serious criticism he has ever made of a Welsh NHS organisation.

His report criticised the way in which the Health Board had  hired a consultancy called RKC Associates Ltd  to oversee its Human Resources and had later gone on – in questionable circumstances – to appoint that company’s sole director – Raj Chana –  to the NHS staff .

The Cardiff and Vale Health Board paid Raj Chana the sole director of consultants RKC Associates Ltd more than the salary of the Welsh Government’s First Minister

The allegedly cash-strapped Cardiff and Vale Health Board offered Chana an NHS salary of £150,000 [that’s £10,000 a year more than the salary of Welsh Government First Minister Carwyn Jones].

The figure was so much higher than the official NHS pay-scale it had to be specially-approved by the Welsh Labour Government – and it was.

Yesterday the Conservative Leader in the National Assembly – Andrew R T Davies (Conservative South Wales Central) questioned First Minister Carwyn Jones about the excoriating report from the Wales Auditor General .

Andrew R T Davies revealed to the Assembly that the Health Board chair –  Maria Battle – had personally participated in the hiring process which had appointed Raj Chana (full name Rajvinder Kaur Chana) as Cardiff and Vale  Health Board’s Human Resources director.

He also noted that the Cardiff and Vale Health Board was under already under scrutiny as it “faces a huge financial deficit of £30,000,000 to £35,000,000.

Davies said that health board officials appeared to be blaming each other for appointing Raj Chana but “the one clear person   who is involved here because she was on the selection panel when the final appointment was made is the Health Board chairman” [Maria Battle]  “who was sitting on that selection”.

Andrew R T Davies then asked Carwyn Jones “Do you have confidence in the Health Board chairman ? “

The First Minister ducked that question about Ms Battle and just went on to say that the Cardiff and Vale Health Board was NOT actually in “special measures“. It was – he said – in  “a KIND of special measures”.

Andrew R T Davies with the Auditor General’s critical report into the Cardiff and Vale Health Board

Andrew R T Davies retorted ” I notice you didn’t give a vote of confidence to the chair of the Heath Board [ Maria Battle]  and I offered you that opportunity.”  He asked Carwyn Jones whether he understood how angry patients and members of the Health Board were when they saw an HR consultant being brought in on a salary of £1,000 a day  – plus expenses of £26,000 over 18 months. The expenses alone – he said were more than would be paid in starting salary to a nurse.

First Minister Carwyn Jones could now no longer sidestep the question of his support –  or otherwise – for Maria Battle and said “First of all  I do have confidence in the chair”  – [ a comment which seemed hardly a glowing testimonial for Ms Battle]  and went on to say “secondly this matter is something which needs further investigation and Assembly Members will be told what the outcome of that investigation is. “

Health Minister Vaughan Gething (AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) is in overall charge of the NHS in Wales – and will now have to find out who bears the responsibility for the Cardiff and Vale Health Board scandal

Listening to the exchange in the Senedd was The Welsh Labour Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) . He has now been charged with carrying out an investigation to find out just what happened – and exactly who bears the responsiblity.


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  1. Chris David says:

    If these amateurs made good decisions in the first place Gething wouldn’t have to waste much needed time on investigations. Anyway I have the answers- those responsible are the so-called ministers involved. Carwyn Jones way out of his depth as is Gething, Look no further- then sack Battle and Chana if she’s hovering. I contacted Gething’s office the other day by email saying I couldn’t make contact on their 0300 number from overseas. They replied asking me what “behaviours my phone was making”- I kid you not. That comes straight from the American gobbledygook HR package they got flogged at huge cost. Rank amateurs.

  2. Philip Rapier says:

    Shame on those who have brought this shame on the UK’s flagship Heath Board and one of the Largest Teaching Hospitals in the World.

    Andrew RT Davies and the Torties fought against the Vale and Cardiff joining back together.
    The Tories may whinge about it all they like but we had no special measures in those days when we were one Local Authority.

    He could reverse this Policy tomorrow but won’t.

    Will the Tory Dinosaurs ever learn?

    ANEURIN BEVAN founder of the NHS predicted this Empitre Buiding fiasco coming in 1954
    Speech in the Commons- Yes 1954 -SIXTY THREE YEARS AGO
    Local Government Management of the Hospitals, 12 March 1954

    “As we all know, there is constant bickering between these executives and the county councils.
    The important fact to keep in mind is that the exercise produces local authorities which satisfy the three conditions I mentioned: strength, viability and accessibility.
    Of course it is not proposed to split places like CARDIFF, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and the like, except in some instances to provide rural belts.”……………………

    “A solution might be found if the reorganisation of local government is sufficiently fundamental to allow the administration of the hospitals to be entrusted to the revised units of local government. But no local finances should be levied, for this would once more give rise to frontier problems, and the essential unity of the service would be destroyed.”

  3. cogan nomen says:

    Are we sure that any constructors on this site are normal ?

  4. cogan nomen says:

    I obviously meant contributors – spellchecker or your deviosity ?

  5. Chris David says:

    Well we all make mistakes cogan as you’ve demonstrated. But surely it’s the quality of the content that counts. Many a thick public school boy hides behind his privilege eh! As indeed we’ve seen with so called professional politicians that have never had a real job- hence some of the problems in our joke “government” here in Wales.

    • May Meredith says:

      Ms David, you are contemptuous of people you describe as “amateurs”. May I ask you to expand upon your professional expertise in these matters?

      • Chris David says:

        Well yes- but first you have been very general, indeed woolly in your question. I am not contemptuous of all amateurs in every sphere, far from it! Could you be more specific Ms Meredith? Do you have specific questions and perhaps you could define a professional politician for me? -if that is what you allude to given my comments.

    • May Meredith says:

      I thought I was quite specific. The article is about the Cardiff & Vale Health Board and, specifically, Ms Battle and Ms Chana, neither of whom are politicians. The subtext is a spat between two politicians, Carwyn Jones and Andrew R T Davies (full name Andrew Robert Tudor Davies). Presumably these are the “amateurs” you castigate although, apparently on little evidence, you advocate the “sacking” of Ms Battle and Ms Chana. It was you who raised the notion of “amateurs” so it seems reasonable that it should be you who explains the context rather than me. I assumed, from the tone of your comments, that you had professional expertise in this field. If so, I thought you might welcome the opportunity to enlighten myself and other readers by expanding upon your relevant skill set.

  6. Chris David says:

    I wont try and untangle your diatribe Ms Meredith, I think you’ve even confused yourself, but to quote “Anyway I have the answers- those responsible are the so-called ministers involved. Carwyn Jones way out of his depth as is Gething” Clear? Amateurs. As for Chana and Battle look at the record on health for Wales. They’re club members (as I suspect you may be) way overpaid. Read the article and comments. Moving on to contributing; I am working on a Carte Vitale idea for Wales at the moment covering medical and pharmaceuticals (Google may help you). If you feel you have anything to contribute do let me know. I’m very open to help and idea’s. And please- don’t be so naïve or point scoring, which is what you’re really about, to ask I outline a CV programme on PDN So- anything from you? However the CV (style) idea will probably fall on deaf ears because 1) a politician didn’t think of the it- no glory. 2) It’s too radical and forward thinking for (most) insular Welsh politicians.

    • May Meredith says:

      Wow, I won’t try to unravel that either! Bombast and pomposity come to mind. You clearly think a lot of yourself but methinks there’s just a bit of a chip on your shoulder. By the way, making assumptions can be dangerous.

  7. Chris David says:

    Pots n Kettle eh Ms Meredith! So you’re found out. Nothing to offer ay? Cheap shots when the chips (I have two- like to keep a balance) are down for May. Ok well the doors open. I’ll send you a link if you have merit. Sounds like I’ll have to look elsewhere but hey- like I said open mind and I always value…….. quality help 🙂

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