It was with concern that we heard the news this week that Mr Trevor Purt has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.
Mr Purt is a former Chief Executive of The Heywood Middleton and Rochdale Primary Care Trust where he and his colleagues downgraded the Rochdale Infirmary, which lost its A&E, maternity and other services. More recently he was the CEO of the Hywel Dda Health Board, which, under his leadership, has also seen the downgrading of health services, closing the Special Care Baby Unit at Withybush; closing community hospitals and Minor Injury Units; and downgrading the A&E unit at the Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli. This man, known to health campaigners in south west Wales as the Hatchet Man, is now the Chief Executive of our health board in north Wales.
We have already seen health services downgraded across north Wales, with community hospitals closed, Minor Injury Units closed, and neonatal services downgraded. Many areas now suffer a second class health service, provided by first class health workers who are over stretched and under unnecessary pressure.
This summer we are expecting the Health Board to consult on major proposals for changes to acute services in north Wales. We hope sincerely that Mr Purt’s previous record of downgrading and centralising against popular and clinical opinion is not replicated here in north Wales and that he and his health board colleagues will listen to the patients’ voices.
We urge him to outline his vision for health provision in this region at the earliest possible opportunity.
Mabon ap Gwynfor