Penarth AM Vaughan Gething – the beleaguered Minister of Health in the Welsh Labour Government – has had to face criticism from Penarth Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies as the performance of yet another Welsh Health Board – this time Cwm Taf Health Board – gets worse.
Gething – just back at his desk after his Christmas holidays and his bruising defeat in the Welsh Labour leadership election – has had to announce that the Cwm Taf Board will have its “escalation status” raised from “routine” to “enhanced monitoring” – following increasing concerns about its declining performance.
Gething yesterday had to admit to Assembly Members that a decision has been made ‘to recognise a number of areas of concern relating to quality governance arrangements’, which include concerns about:-
- the Health Board’s maternity services,
- its failure to complete action following inspections and
- its compliance with the Nurse Staffing Act.
Yesterday’s statement from Gething didn’t explain why – as the minister in charge of the NHS in Wales – he hadn’t taken earlier action to get the declining health board’s performance sorted out.
Andrew R T Davies (Conservative AM for South Wales Central – which includes Penarth) says “I’m very concerned to learn that one of the health boards in my region, Cwm Taf, has been placed into ‘enhanced monitoring’ status by the Labour Welsh Government. The Health Minister has highlighted a number of significant and troubling concerns including the health board’s ability to deliver maternity services and comply with the Nurse Staffing Act.”
Mr Davies said “Sadly, this is yet another troubling situation at a Welsh health board following on from a long list of problems elsewhere in the NHS right across Wales. This is also particularly worrying given the emphatic confidence the new First Minister only showed on Monday in the ability of Welsh health boards to deliver for patients. This was clearly misplaced.
He added “Regrettably, patients across South Wales and the Valleys continue to be let down by failures in leadership and it’s clear that the Welsh Labour Government’s historical mismanagement and underfunding of our NHS is having disastrous consequences.Ministers must now ensure that resources are available to turn this situation around at the health board as soon as possible.”