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Should Axe Fall on Health Board Chief Exec?

June 18, 2019 2:00 PM

At the RCT Council meeting on Wednesday 19 June the Chief Executive and Chair of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board are expected to attend to answer members' questions with regard to the recent problems unearthed in maternity services.

At the same meeting there is a motion that calls for "the Chief Executive of Cwm Taf Morgannwg to consider her position. In other words, resign from her £170,000 a year plus benefits post.

Alison Williams recently told an Assembly committee that there were missed opportunities to identify the serious problems uncovered at the maternity units of the Royal Glamorgan Hospital and Prince Charles Hospital. She admitted that "there's absolutely no doubt we've failed people".

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell says he fully supports the idea that Ms Williams should step aside, but asks whether she should be the only one.

"The Health Board cannot just wash their hands of this. Their job is not just to swallow everything that the Chief Exec puts in front of them - it is to question and to scrutinise and to push for improvement.

"The Chair of the Health Board is paid around £60,000 a year for an estimated commitment of 15 days a month. Not bad considering that he average midwife's salary is just a little over half of that for full time work. Work that is hugely stressful and carries tremendous responsibility.

"Well the Board have a responsibility too, and if the axe is going to fall it shouldn't stop with Ms Williams.

Campaign Manager Karen Roberts added

"Board members and the Chair in particular cannot simply say they weren't aware of the problems, shrug their shoulders and carry on as before. Services at the Royal Glamorgan and Prince Charles have been in the spotlight for years as a result of the South Wales Programme reorganisation.

"Endless statistics have been produced both by the Health Board and opponents to the service changes. Surely somewhere along the line there was an inkling that there may be issues.

"Warnings about insufficient staff have been made over and over but gone unheeded and unaddressed by not just Cwm Taf but the Welsh Labour Government too.

"The motion on Wednesday is obviously going to pass, but it does not go far enough."