News that the Information Commissioner has ordered the full publication of a report into a north Wales Mental Health Unit has been welcomed by a prominent health campaigner.
Mabon ap Gwynfor, Chair of the North Wales Health Alliance, which was established eight years ago to campaign against some of the proposed changes to health care in north Wales, and Plaid Cymru's Senedd candidate in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said that he hoped that publishing the report would be an important step towards bringing the troubled health board out of special measures.
The Holden Report was commissioned to look at the Hergest Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor and was published in 2015. However the Health Board withheld important parts of the report.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was put in special measures by the Welsh Government five years ago.
Mabon ap Gwynfor said,
'The Holden Report, which looked at serious problems within the Hergest Unit, was commissioned after brave staff came forward with serious concerns about care at the unit. What was eventually published of the Holden report was extremely critical, and led to changes in Mental Health care.
'But parts of the report were withheld, and it has taken over five years to reach this point with the Information Commissioners Office ordering the publication of the report in full. This should be welcomed.'
'We mustn't forget that the Health Board was put into special measures for several reasons, chief among them were concerns around mental health care and the gap between the Ward and the Board. This report encompasses both those issues.'
'Transparency is vital if the Board is to re-build confidence among the population it serves. As important is accepting when faults have occurred, and showing that lessons have been learnt.'
'This can only be done if we know the full scope of the problems and the steps that they have taken to remedy those problems. Only then will the Board and the residents of north Wales be able to have full confidence again and move forward together.'
'Publishing this report in full can only help the Health Board as they look to come out of special measures.'