Cwm Taf: ‘Labour Health Minister lurches from a disaster to a scandal’

ITV Wales investigation to be broadcast this evening.

The story broken by ITV Wales today (November 27)), about Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has added to the concerns of Angela Burns AM, Shadow Health Minister, about the ability of Vaughan Gething, her opposite number in the Welsh Labour Government.

The investigation centres around the Health Minister agreeing Cwm Taf’s Integrated Medium Term Plan (IMTP) on March 26 this year before a highly-critical report into the board was published, which stated the health board was exposing women to what were described as “unacceptable risks” and its maternity services were put into special measures.

Ms Burns questioned the Health Minister in the Chamber today, and asked him if he thought that it was appropriate to have agreed the document. He replied that it was.

Ms Burns said:

“Cwm Taf was already struggling; there were reports from Healthcare Inspectorate Wales from 2015 which raised questions about the quality of patient experience, and delivery of safe and effective carer of and quality of management of and leadership. A 2017 Wales Deanery visit highlighted six areas of concern, a 2018 General Medical Council survey that highlighted concerns, a 2018 report which investigated 67 stillbirths.

“You did not sign off the IMTPs of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB, Or ABMU, so what was so different about Cwm Taf?”

The Shadow Health Minister then said that Cwm Taf was the health board that always seemed to get an A-grade, and was paraded as the successful health board.

“Cwm Taf just wasn’t going to be allowed to fail,” she said.

Ms Burns then asked:

“Minister, did you look at performance robustly and dispassionately? Did you look, but not see?

“Did you look? Did you see? Did it matter?”

Speaking later, Ms Burns, said:

“This report is beyond damning, not just of Cwm Taf, but of the Health Minister’s capability to hold the portfolio for health in Wales. Like Nelson putting his telescope to his blind eye, the Minister sees no failings, nor a disaster.

“Well, on his watch NHS Wales and Cwm Taf are lurching from a disaster to a scandal, and for the second time in a week, Welsh Conservatives must ask the Minister to consider his position.”

The ITV Wales investigation will be broadcast this evening.