A Wrexham doctor has spoken out about issues he thinks have led to Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board going into special measures for a second time.

Dr Peter Saul, a GP at Beech Avenue practice in Rhos, said he “didn’t know” what putting the health board back into special measure was going to do if there were no improvements the first time.

He said: “In my view, the reason why it came out of special measures was because the special measures weren’t actually doing anything, so why would you continue something when it wasn’t actually improving things?

“Since it came out of special measure, I wouldn’t like to say things got worse, but they certainly haven’t got better and it is an organisation that is very difficult to get decisions out of.”

Dr Saul said that covering the whole of North Wales means serving very different communities with different needs, with rural Northwest Wales and urban North East Wales having different populations. He suggested that perhaps there needs to be more focus on these local communities to meet their needs.

He aso explained what the working environment was like for a GP.

He said: “As a GP we’re focussed on delivering services to our patients and will do our best irrespective of the organisation of the health service.

“I think where you see the difficulties are waiting times, access to some diagnostic procedures, innovations, so for example one of the difficulties GPs have is that the buildings that we operate out of are not, and this probably applies to hospital services too, they’re not adequate for the modern medical services.”

He added: “The environment for GPs in particular has been difficult and that’s why you’ve got so many managed practices in Wales, so one of the things that could be done [is] to better support for existing practices to stop them going under and having to be managed by the health board which inevitably seems to lead to less good services for patients.”


He said there is a need for the expansion of buildings and investment to create more space for practices to do what they need.  

The problem doesn’t just lie with BCUHB. Dr Saul said: “I think you have to admit that the whole of Wales is struggling at the moment.

"Part of that is pandemic pressure, part of it is short staffing, part of it is funding and to be fair BCUHB is working with Bangor University in establishing a new medical school which I’m hoping that that will improve matters but were taking a ten year programme there before you really see big changes.”

He added: “The individual’s I deal with are dedicated caring people. It's just that the whole structure doesn’t fit together in a functional way.”