Earlier this year Welsh Labour Members of the Welsh and UK Parliaments representing North Wales, wrote to the Minister to request further financial support for the Betsi Cadwaladr UHB (BCUHB).
They have now come together to welcome the Welsh Government’s investment in the health board, which they believe will establish “firm foundations for the future of BCUHB” and for the people and communities it serves.
In the letter signed by Hannah Blythyn, Ken Skates, Ann Jones, Lesley Griffiths, Jack Sargeant and Mark Tami, the Welsh Labour Members welcomed the Welsh Government’s commitment to clear £150 million of debt owed by BCUHB, but asked the Minister to consider writing off the remaining £45 million.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething MS, has now issued a statement advising Members of the Welsh Parliament, of the Welsh Government’s plans to provide further support for the health board.
During an oral statement on Tuesday, the Minister outlined the improvements which the health board has made in recent years, including significant progress in maternity and out of hours services. Mr Gething announced a funding support package which covers the next three and a half years, providing the health board with financial support to ensure they focus on long term planning, rather than short term fixes.
Speaking on the announcement Hannah Blythyn MS said:
“This is a significant step forward for BCUHB and will further support our hard-working NHS staff to deliver the first class health service we all deserve here in North Wales.
This investment demonstrates the commitment of the Welsh Labour Government to improving health care provision in our communities.
The strategic funding will not only help to cover any deficit in the budget, but allow the health board to plan and implement improvements to planned and unscheduled care, and mental health services.”
In addition to this support package, the Welsh Government will establish a Task and Finish group to explore the potential of creating a North Wales Medical School.
The Welsh Labour Members are hopeful that this support package will not only address the financial pressures on the health board, but improve patient outcome and experiences.