Statement in response to Ockenden Review of Governance Arrangements relating to Tawel Fan Ward and Older People’s Mental Health at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
Director of Wellbeing and Empowerment, Daisy Cole, said:
“Today’s report makes clear that there were serious failings across a wide range of areas – including safeguarding, communication, staff levels, staff training and performance management – and that board members took insufficient action to address these, something that placed vulnerable older patients in north Wales at risk.
“It is also concerning that there is still little evidence that improvements are being delivered in some areas, and that there is still a lack of clarity around safeguarding arrangements.
“Although the report states that the Health Board faced a number of pressures, it is simply not acceptable that there was repeated inaction in the face of concerns being raised, despite assurances from board members that action would be taken and improvements would be delivered.
“Whilst I welcome the fact that, according to the report, some progress is now being made, older people and their families across north Wales, particularly the relatives of the patients placed on the Tawel Fan ward who received unacceptable standards of care, will rightly be asking serious questions of the Health Board and the Welsh Government about how the failings described were not only able to occur in the first place, but were also able to persist over such a prolonged period.
“They will also no doubt be cautious about simply accepting assurances that are provided given the findings of the report and it is clear that a great deal of work will be needed to rebuild trust between the Health Board and the communities it serves.
“The Commissioner’s office will continue to monitor the progress being made by the Health Board to ensure that meaningful action is taken so that all patients are safe, protected and receive the highest standards of care at all times.”