Tawel Fan families deserve quicker action to address concerns

An investigation probing care at scandal-hit Tawel Fan ward will not report its findings until March 2018, it has emerged.

The news comes as beleaguered Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board today publishes an update report on the Ockenden Review.

Report author Donna Ockenden is reviewing governance arrangements in older person’s mental health services prior to the closure of the Tawel Fan ward in December 2013.

The ward was closed after serious allegations came to light – leaving eight staff to be initially suspended, with four moved to other duties.

Shadow Health Secretary, Angela Burns, said:

“The original report was published back in 2014, so this is an extraordinary amount of time for the victims and their families to have to wait.

“The Tawel Fan scandal shocked the country and the families of those affected deserved much more rapid action to address their concerns.”

Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar, said:

“Today’s update suggests that no further action or disciplinary matters will be followed up until after the reports are published in March.

“It means that those staff who are suspended will have been on full pay for three and a half years before action can be taken to hold them to account for their role in what happened.

“Some staff have already left the health board to other jobs, effectively escaping natural justice; it’s unacceptable.

“We also need absolute and categorical assurances regarding the independence of these documents. The Welsh Government, the Tawel Fan Oversight Panel and the Health Board must not have any editorial control over the content of the views expressed in either of these reports.”