A HEALTH board member said a keynote mental health strategy needs “drastic review” after it received “limited assurance” from a governance appraisal.

The comment was made by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s vice-chair Lucy Reid at it’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

She said the Together 4 Mental Health (T4MH) strategy which was in place needed “drastic review”.

It came after the health board’s audit committee asked whether the implementation of the strategy, devised in 2017, was “fit for purpose for the people of North Wales”.

Ms Reid said the process to revamp the programme had “already started”.

She added: “There have been a number of meetings taking place with a new group of stakeholders including service users.

“It was very disappointing to hear the limited assurance result from the governance review, but I am confident with the renewed leadership within the division that this will be addressed.

“The delivery against that strategy will become a standing agenda item on the Together 4 Mental Health Partnership Board. We’re still in the early stages of reforming that group however.

“We want to take the time to ensure that it’s right, that the terms of reference has been thoroughly reviewed and we’ve got all the right people round the table.”

T4MH runs on six basic principles:

  1. Treating people who use our services, and their carers and families as equal partners – with everyone being seen as essential assets in improving the mental health and wellbeing of the communities of North Wales
  2. Ensuring everything done is as integrated as possible – across disciplines, across agencies, across services – in both planning services, and delivering services – with fragmented care replaced by joined-up and continuous care
  3. Working to ensure everyone feels valued and respected
  4. Supporting and promoting the best quality of life for everyone living with mental health problems
  5. Promoting local innovation and local evaluation in how services are provided
  6. Continually measuring the board’s impact on outcomes, within both national and local quality and outcomes frameworks – whether it has improved the lives of people for and with whom it provides services

The report also said there were concerns surrounding the psychological therapies service “in terms of outward reporting and leadership”.

An internal advert has been placed for an acting head of the service, with “local and national teams” working on a “substantive job description” before advertising externally.

Chief executive Jo Whitehead referred to the T4MH strategy in her own report to board, saying the programme had been “refreshed” and service user and voluntary sector involvement would be “strengthened”.

She said closer working relationships with outside partners was “key, given

the anticipated significant increase in mental health needs in the coming years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”.