A REPORT into mental health and learning disability services in North Wales has found that 36 per cent of recommendations to improve them had been completed fully.

Conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists between May and December 2023, its authors looked at recommendations made in four key reports into mental health care in North Wales dating between 2014 and 2018.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) was put into special measures in 2015, and again in 2023.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, said: “This is a damning report.

“People’s health and wellbeing has been put at risk because of failures to put right decades-old mistakes.

“BCUHB was put into special measure, in large part, because of serious concerns around mental health care.

“This report shows that they were on a path to putting things right, but before they could complete the work required, progress was stopped because of the decision of the then-health minister (Vaughan Gething, now First Minister) to de-escalate the health board’s special measures status for political purposes."


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A number of critical reviews, reports and a prosecution concerning mental health and learning disability services have been carried out across Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in the past few years.

As part of the special measures intervention, Welsh Government commissioned the Royal College of Psychiatrists to undertake this review to assess the extent to which these recommendations have been completed.

 Welsh Government added: “The health board has accepted the review's key findings and we expect them to deliver those, while continuing to make progress in implementing safe and effective policies across its mental health services.

“We are pleased that the review authors highlighted the dedication of health board staff and their clear commitment to patient care and to service improvement."

Carol Shillabeer, chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "As a board, we very much welcome this review of progress.

“It is a solemn reminder that people were let down and for which we wholeheartedly apologise.

“Despite the passage of time, we will never forget the poor care and experiences of patients, their carers and families that led to these reviews and it is this which continues to drive us forward in improving the standards of care and treatment we provide.

"Whilst much progress has been made there is more to do and the board is determined to take action that improves services, which we will do together with patients, their carers and families."