A REPORT has found a "deeply worrying degree of dysfunctionality" at North Wales' health board.

The damning Audit Wales report identifies "clear and deep-seated fractures" among bosses at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB).

The Auditor General’s report found that the "breakdown in working relationships within the board" at BCUHB is "fundamentally compromising its ability to tackle the numerous challenges the organisation faces".

The report also found that without some form of intervention to establish a more unified Executive Team and wider board, the current situation is unlikely to be resolved.

It said the health board needs to find a new CEO as a "matter of urgency" and pointed to ongoing and "long-standing concerns about the performance, quality and safety of a number of specific services".

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The report added the board has a "long way to go" before its senior management can work effectively together and concluded the Welsh government would probably have to intervene.

The Welsh Government said that the report raises "serious questions" about the board's management.

The auditor general found that challenging scrutiny from independent members of the health board in public meetings had "adversely affected working relationships" among the board's executive committee.

According to the report, this in turn has compromised the health board's ability to address the "significant challenges" it faces.

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The report added it is "unlikely" and "doubtful" that the situation will be resolved "without some form of intervention to establish a more unified Executive Team and wider board".

Mark Polin, chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: "I can confirm the board’s commitment to taking the recommendations forward, and we will work collaboratively with Welsh Government and Audit Wales in doing so. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The health board has been aware of the majority of the issues raised in the Audit Wales report, which partly informed a decision to commission a bespoke board development programme with the Kings Fund to address board effectiveness and relationships in 2020. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It is most disappointing that previous internal interventions have not resulted in necessary improvements in relation to an effective board, which is what the patients and population of north Wales deserve in order to deliver and receive safe and effective services." ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌

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He added: “The board will receive the report and a proposed action plan, to be developed in consultation with Welsh Government and other key stakeholders, at the March board meeting, but the required responses will commence immediately. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In this regard a number of actions are already in train to address some of the serious matters identified in the report, with progress having been made in relation to key areas such as the chief executive officer recruitment, which is underway with our chosen recruitment partner.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "This report raises serious concerns about the management and governance of Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board.

"We are concerned about the performance of the board and we will be meeting with them to discuss those concerns.

"We will respond to the findings of this report shortly."