‘Tough job’ in store for departing hospital chief

Gary Doherty
Gary Doherty
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A hospital chief set to quit Blackpool has admitted he has a huge job ahead after taking on a Trust in turmoil.

As revealed in The Gazette yesterday, Blackpool Victoria Hospital boss Gary Doherty is set to leave to become chief executive at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in north Wales.

I’m under no illusions. It’s a big, tough job

Betsi Cadwaladr was put in special measures by the Welsh government in June following a critical report on a mental health ward in Denbighshire.

It has been under the highest level of Welsh government intervention for six months since the investigation into “institutional abuse” at the Tawel Fan mental health ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan.

It is expected to be in special measures for at least two years.

In a radio interview he said: “It’s really, really important we get that trust back and I think we can do that.

“But equally, I’m under no illusions. It’s a big, tough job.

“If we do a good job and I do a good job and we work together with people, then these political concerns and these very personal concerns and individual concerns that people have, we can respond to them and it can be a successful dialogue.”

In a statement he added: “My key focus will be listening to the voices of patients, staff, the public and partners to keep making rapid improvements while also building a long term vision for the future.” Dr Peter Higson, chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Gary is hugely capable and experienced and has led an extensive programme of improvement at Blackpool with success.

“He possesses the skills and qualities that we were seeking and that are so important in a Chief Executive, and on behalf of the Board, I warmly welcome him to north Wales.”

No timescale has been set for his departure from Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. No announcement has been made yet over his successor but the role will be advertised nationally.