Welsh NHS struggles to fill posts

5 Sep 02
The Welsh Executive denied this week that a programme to recruit chief executives for the principality's new local health boards was in tatters.

06 September 2002

The 22 boards will replace Wales' five health authorities next April and will provide primary care and commission community care.

They will also play a role in commissioning secondary care in conjunction with other local health care bodies.

The Welsh health department had been due to announce the appointments by the end of August but it is believed that the identities of only around half of the new chief executives will be unveiled in a statement due on September 6.

The British Medical Association claimed few local NHS managers want the job.

BMA Welsh secretary Dr Bob Broughton said suitably qualified managers must be appointed soon so the boards can begin work in shadow form.

'Over the past few decades, Wales has not developed nor fostered the full potential of health service managers, who too often have been badly maligned in the media. We are now reaping the result,' he said.

Broughton said the Welsh NHS may be forced to look to England to find the managers. 'Since devolution, the NHS has successfully developed a "Welsh" style and direction. Whoever is appointed to these pivotal posts must follow the Welsh style of management, which in many aspects is different from England,' he added.

Although the health department claimed the appointment process was on schedule it admitted that it would not be completed until the end of October – two months after its initial deadline.

A spokeswoman said: 'The next stage has already begun and adverts will be placed in the press later this week. The closing date will be September 24, assessments and interviews scheduled for mid-October and offers of appointment to be made in late October.'


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