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New Chief Executive for 'challenged' North Wales heath board


November 15, 2023 - 350 views

Carol Shillabeer has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

She has been in post as interim Chief Executive since May 2023 and will formally take on the substantive role early in the New Year.

The appointment will provide continuity of leadership and support the new Board dynamic to work towards bringing the Health Board out of special measures and developing and delivering ambitious plans for the future. 

Carol said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the Chief Executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. In the short time I have already been here I have seen a strong commitment from colleagues and partners alike to make improvements and give the people of North Wales the services they expect and deserve. 

“There has been a lot of change here in recent years and I am confident we will build the right leadership and culture to provide the stability and confidence we need to take the organisation in the right direction. 

“I know we face some significant challenges and I am committed to working collectively with staff, partners and communities to help us overcome them together as we move forward. 

“It is my job, with the Board, to make sure there are strong foundations for the future and we have clear ambitions to do just that. I am looking forward to being able to make a real difference for our patients and our staff, who all have an important part to play in that future of our NHS in North Wales.” 

Dyfed Edwards, Chair of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “I am really pleased that Carol has chosen to take on the role as our Chief Executive and welcome her to the Health Board on a permanent basis.  

“I have had the opportunity to work with Carol since May and believe her strong track record of leadership, organisational development and partnership working make her the right person to get this Health Board where it needs to be. 

“Carol has already made a significant impact since joining us on an interim basis and this appointment provides us with the stability we need to continue delivering improvements for our communities, staff and partners.” 

Carol leaves her current post as Chief Executive of Powys Teaching Health Board in Powys, which she took on in March 2015 having joined the health board as Executive Director of Nursing in 2009.

She is a registered nurse with a background in senior clinical and managerial posts in women and children’s services, mental health and general medicine. Carol also has an extensive background in partnership working and organisational development, and is committed to working with staff, partners and communities to shape and deliver better outcomes.  

Carol was formerly the Wales Member and Vice Chair of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the UKs regulator for nursing and midwifery. She was Chair of the Wales COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, and Chair of the Government sponsored Together for Children and Young People Programme leading approaches to improve emotional wellbeing and mental health for children, young people and their families.

Carol is currently the Lead CEO in NHS Wales for Mental Health, Women’s Health, and until recently Community and Complex Care. Carol has an MSc in Health Service Management from Cardiff University and is a former Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholar. 

Clwyd West MS Darren Millar, who has sometimes been a critic of the health board, said: 

“I welcome the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive at the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and wish Carol Shillabeer all the very best for the new role.

“Carol has a huge task ahead. The Health Board needs strong and confident leadership as it seeks to get to grips with failings and plots a route to improved NHS services for patients across North Wales.

“I look forward to continuing to engage with Carol in the months and years ahead.”