Plans to improve health services in north Wales have been raised in the Senedd.
Clwyd South MS Ken Skates yesterday called for the new national Citizen Voice Body to be based in north Wales, which has the country’s largest health board.
He also called for an update from Health Minister Eluned Morgan about the Welsh Government’s plans to improve services across the region.
Addressing the Welsh Government Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, Mr Skates said: “I’d be grateful for a statement from the Minister regarding progress against the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board improvement plans that were published in March of 2021.
“And could I ask for another statement from the Minister for Health confirming that the Citizen Voice Body will be headquartered in north Wales? The chair of the body, of course, is very familiar with south-west Wales and mid Wales, and most of the NHS is headquartered in south-east Wales, so it stands to reason that the Citizen Voice Body should be headquartered in north Wales, where we have the largest health board and where, arguably, the NHS faces its greatest challenge.”
Mr Skates said he had also written formally to the Health Minister, and later added: “The people of north Wales must know whether progress has been made against the improvement plans, which were announced by the former Health Minister as the next stage of improvement after BCUHB was taken out of special measures.”
From April 2023, the Citizen Voice Body will represent the voices and opinions of the people of Wales in respect of health and social care services. It will be independent of government, the NHS and local authorities but will work with them, and others, to support the continuous improvement of person-centred services.
During the Senedd proceedings, Trefnydd Lesley Griffiths responded: “In respect of the establishment of the Citizen Voice Body, no decisions have been taken as yet as to the location of any of its sites. I think once the Citizen Voice Vody recruitment is completed, the Minister will bring forward a location strategy around the decisions taken.
“You ask for an update on the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board improvement plan, and, as you’re aware, in the previous term of government, back in March 2021, a written statement was issued by the Government outlining the targeted intervention framework for the health board. This is something that, obviously, the Minister for Health and Social Services monitors very carefully.
“I am aware there are further discussions going on, and the Minister will ensure the health board update their website, because I think it is really important that that’s done. If there is anything further from the Minister’s meeting, I will ask her to issue a written statement.”