Plaid Cymru calls for “transparency, accountability and improvement” as Holden Report published
“This is about far more than releasing a desperately overdue report, this is about accountability from all in charge of the health board during this most terrible time” – Llyr Gruffydd MS
Plaid Cymru has called for “accountability from all in charge” as the long-overdue Holden Report into mental health services in Betsi Cadwaladr health board is published.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for the north region, said it’s been “eight long years” in which the people served by Betsi Cadwaladr health board have been “kept in the dark” and “left to wonder what else is hiding in the gloom.”
It has been eight years since concerns raised by staff at the Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd, were first documented, and eight years since Robin Holden was commissioned to undertake an investigation into the mental health unit.
For years, Plaid Cymru has been vocal in calling for the publication of the report.
The findings from Holden’s report preceded another damning report at another mental health unit in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), which led to the health board being placed in special measures in June 2015.
Since then, BCUHB has been taken out of special measures, despite evidence from the Quality, Safety & Experience Committee confirming “the Holden Report (2013) action plan was not robustly monitored through the Health Board’s governance structures.” Since this time, another death at the Hergest Unit has been reported.
Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru Member of Senedd for the North Region said: “After eight long years of being kept in the dark - the long overdue publication of the Holden Report is the first important step in shining a light on this dark period in Betsi Cadwaladr’s history.
“That’s eight long years in which we have been left to wonder what else is hiding in the gloom, how many lives have been lost unnecessarily, and how many staff have been forced to work under conditions which led to the whistle-blowers to voice their concerns in the first place.
“Now that the report is out in the open, work must begin on restoring the trust of the people of north Wales. This starts with the health board and Welsh Government acknowledging the enormity of what it reveals, recognising the erosion of trust in the system, and committing to learning each and every difficult lesson that will come out of this.
“We mustn’t forget that this report was one of the factors in placing Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board in special measures in the first place, that Welsh Government had responsibility for the health board up until last year, and even after it came out of special measures, patients continued to die.
“This is about far more than releasing a desperately overdue report, this is about accountability from all in charge of the health board during this most terrible time.”