FOLLOWING the departure of the health board's chief executive, concerns have been raised about his interim replacement.

Gary Doherty will leave his post as chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) this month to take up the role of director of integration at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Simon Dean, deputy chief executive of NHS Wales, will cover the chief executive post on an interim basis as of Monday, February 10.

Mr Dean also undertook this role when the health board was placed in Special Measures in June 2015.

Darren Millar, AM for Clwyd West, has raised concerns about the appointment stating that it feels 'somewhat like Groundhog Day.'

He said: "As the deputy chief executive of NHS Wales, Mr Dean is collectively responsible for the failure to improve services at the health board while it has been in special measures and I fail to see how appointing him as a caretaker CEO is going to deliver the sort of change that patients want to see.

“BCUHB has seen record poor performance in recent months and it will require strong leadership with a robust accountability system to put that right.”

Mr Doherty was appointed chief executive in February 2016.

Mark Polin, BCUHB chairman, said: “The board recognises that we need to accelerate the pace of change and it is now time for someone else to lead the next phase of our journey of improvement.

“I would like to thank Gary on behalf of the board and all staff for his hard work and we wish him the very best for the future.”

The search for a permanent successor is to 'commence immediately.'