Paul Davies AM: “I hope this isn’t another Betsi Cadwaladr in the making”

Welsh Conservative leader, Paul Davies AM, has challenged the First Minister to ensure that Cwm Taf maternity services do not follow in the footsteps of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board by “languishing” in special measures for years on end.

At First Minister’s Questions, Paul raised the increase in the number of operations cancelled by Welsh NHS Health Boards over the last four years, at no fault of patients. Since 2015 there have been nearly 170,000 operations cancelled in Wales, an increase of 7%.

The biggest increase in cancelled operations was by the Welsh Labour Government-run Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which despite being in special measures for more than four years, saw a shocking increase of 31%.

However, behind these figures there is a human cost with increased anxiety and distress for patients having to wait for the date of their operation, just to have it cancelled, and the added pressure on Welsh NHS staff who are trying their best to deliver high quality care but who are being let down by the Welsh Labour Government.

Commenting, Paul Davies AM, said:

“The cost of these cancelled operations to our Welsh NHS is staggering, with the Wales Audit Office estimating that each minute of surgery costs £14. We are therefore looking at tens of millions of pounds wasted in cancelled operations which our Welsh NHS desperately needs.

“Thanks to the UK Conservative Government, Wales will be receiving an extra £1.2 billion because of increased health spending in England. The Welsh Government needs to spend this money on giving our Welsh NHS the resources it needs and lead to a brighter future for Wales.

“It is a damning verdict on the Welsh Labour Government that the health board that they’ve been running for the last four years has seen the biggest increase in cancelled operations. Cleary the Welsh Labour Government has failed to run North Wales’ health board and it is concerning to hear that they are struggling to get Cwm Taf maternity services out of special measures.

“I hope Cwm Taf isn’t another Betsi Cadwaladr in the making where Welsh Labour allows another health board to languish for years, failing the people it is meant to serve.”