Plaid Cymru MS, Mabon ap Gwynfor, has called on the Welsh Government to publish a report that details steps to taken to improve mental health services in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Speaking in his first address to the Senedd this week, the MS for Dwyfor Meirionnydd asked: "Is it any wonder that families of patients feel this is more evidence of a cover-up?”

The Holden report, commissioned eight years ago, illustrates the steps taken to improve mental health services in the north since the health board was taken out of special measures last year.

However, it has still not been published in full, eight years after it was first commissioned after concerns raised by staff at the Hergest Unit, a mental health unit, in Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

The Information Commissioner’s Office upheld an appeal last year for the report to be published in full, but the health board has appealed this decision and a tribunal hearing is not expected until later this year.

At the time of the decision, the interim chief executive of the health board, Simon Dean, said actions had been taken from the Holden Report.

However, since then, a report from its Quality, Safety & Experience Committee admitted “it is not possible to state with confidence” that actions taken were as a result of the Holden Report.

Speaking in the Senedd, Mabon ap Gwynfor said:

“A report that still hasn’t been published, eight years on, and mitigating actions that – by the health board’s own admission – might have happened more by chance than design:

"Is it any wonder that families of patients feel this is more evidence of a cover-up of the Hergest Unit scandal?"

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“The historic failings in mental health service in north Wales is well documented and is one of the reasons why the health board was put into special measures in the first place.

“Several constituents suffered as a consequence, and it is so important lessons have been learnt, given the forthcoming redevelopment of the Ablett Unit.

“The Robin Holden report was a pivotal report, and had the recommendations been acted on when it was published then the problems that we saw in Tawel Fan might well have been resolved sooner.

“I’m concerned that even though many years have gone by since the Holden Report that things have not fully been resolved.

“The Welsh Government must now provide an update on the steps that have been taken to improve mental health services in north Wales since the health board was taken out of special measure in autumn last year.

“Most importantly, we need to see the Holden report in full, so that we can judge for ourselves whether or not the issues raised have been dealt with in full.”

In response, the Welsh Government confirmed that its new deputy minister for mental health and wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, “will have that report on her desk”, adding “it will either be published or there will be a statement to accompany it.”

Lesley Griffiths, Trefnydd of the Senedd, said: “As you know, we have a specific Minister, or Deputy Minister, for Mental Health and Well-being, and Lynne Neagle has just come into that role and, obviously, will have that report on her desk, in her in-tray.

“I'm sure, at the appropriate time, the report will either be published or there will be a statement to accompany it, because, as you say, it's a very serious issue that this Welsh Government takes very seriously, and we will obviously ensure all members are informed.”