Jo Whitehead, Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Over recent months we have been in discussions with the Information Commissioner regarding the publication of the Holden Report. Our priority has always been to agree appropriate redaction in order to protect the anonymity of staff that contributed to it, and ensure that all staff have the confidence to raise concerns in future. Having come to an agreement with the Information Commissioner, we are publishing the redacted report in full.
“We acknowledge that the delay in publishing this report has frustrated some of those with an interest in it. Having reflected on the way that this has been handled, the Board has decided that in the interests of openness and transparency, future reports of this nature will be made public.
“Action was taken and remains in place to deliver all of the Holden Report’s recommendations and this has been reported publicly. However, some issues, such as the way we manage the mix of older patients, have proved complex to resolve, due to the design and layout of the Hergest Unit and the staffing resources involved. Options are being considered to address this.
“Reports from unannounced inspections of the Hergest Unit by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales show that standards of care, staff morale and leadership arrangements have improved in recent years.
“Despite these improvements, we have much more work to do to enable our dedicated staff to deliver the very best care. In common with other NHS mental health service providers across the UK, we face significant challenges around staffing numbers, managing demand for beds, ensuring the appropriate mix of patients and dealing with the impact of COVID-19.
“We’re committed to working closely with our patients, their carers, our staff and partners to address these challenges and build trust and confidence in the mental health services we deliver.”