TWO "sharply different" outcomes of two investigations which looked into the treatment and care of patients on a mental health ward are to be examined as part of an inquiry.

The National Assembly for Wales' Public Accounts Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry following a request by North Wales Assembly Members.

Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, sent an email on behalf of members following the publication of the Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS) investigation which found there was "no evidence" to support prior allegations that patients suffered from deliberate abuse or wilful neglect on Glan Clwyd Hospital’s now closed 17-bed Tawel Fan’s mental health ward.

The findings were starkly different to those of a first investigation report by Donna Ockenden who investigated complaints from relatives and upheld claims that patients were kept "like animals in at zoo."

A further report by Donna Ockenden was published in July. The Ockenden report into governance arrangements on Tawel Fan ward prior to closure in December 2013 and current governance arrangements in Older People’s Mental Health Care at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to the current time found the systems, structures and processes of governance, management and leadership introduced by the BCUHB Board from 2009 were "wholly inappropriate and significantly flawed" and pressed the health board to step up the pace of improvement.

In a letter to Mr Millar, Nick Ramsay AM, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said: "It was agreed that we will undertake a short inquiry as a follow up to the excellent work undertaken by the committee in the fourth Assembly regarding the Governance arrangements at BCUHB. As part of that work, we will examine the management of mental health services within the health board with representatives from BCUHB and the Welsh Government.

"This work will include follow up on the recommendations made by our predecessor committee and also look to the future to ensure previous issues have been addressed and systems are in place to ensure governance failures do not occur again."

Mr Millar said: "Many people in North Wales were concerned about the alarming differences in the conclusions drawn by those who investigated the Tawel Fan ward.

"This inquiry will provide an opportunity to consider those conclusions, take evidence from stakeholders, and to determine whether the action which is being taken in North Wales is sufficient to address the serious problems which have been exposed in mental health services in the region.

"The Tawel Fan families deserve answers to the many questions which they still have regarding the care of their loved ones and I for one hope that this inquiry will be able to assist in answering them.

"I look forward to the inquiry starting in the Spring of next year.”

A spokesperson from BCUHB said: "We can confirm we have had the invitation and the chief executive and chair will attend."