Saturday, 29 August 2015


Above is a Daily Post photograph of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan.

Last time I was laid up there I saw some staff behaving in crazy ways as if they were not answerable to anybody. Some lower grade staff seemed to be there because the hospital is a big employer rather than because of their personal commitment to the health service.

This year there has been a public row over the threatened temporary withdrawal of some maternity services at Glan Clwyd, and there have been cases of medical neglect (including one dreadful case of fatal neglect).

In the last three years the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which is responsible for this and other local hospitals, has increased the number of its managers by 17 per cent and increased the average pay of managers by 9 per cent.

Recently Glan Clwyd’s mental health unit was mired in scandal about abuse of patients. This led to the Betsi Board being put into special measures by Welsh Government which has twice refused to publish minutes of the meeting where that government decision was taken.

What is lacking from top to bottom in NHS Wales is the principle of customer service. If introducing that ethic would mean having some elements of the NHS operated by commercial companies – including the management of hospitals – so be it.

When our electricity supply was run by government-employed workers we had power cuts with monotonous regularity. Now the service is provided by commercial companies the power cuts are rare – because now we are thought of as customers.


FRI 25th SEP 2015 UPDATE: Daily Post reports that the suspended boss of the Betsi Board is on a nice little earner: