Too many checks are “planned” – they should all be spot and random – including educational ones

BBC News reported 13th May 2014: Spot checks into OAP hospital care

Failings in patient care at two Welsh hospitals have been criticised in an independent report.

The Trusted To Care review was held after concerns at Neath Port Talbot Hospital and the Princess of Wales Hospital in south Wales.

It followed the neglect of patient Lilian Williams, 82, who died after being treated at both hospitals.

Her family complained and it led to the review, they are now calling for a public inquiry.

Mrs Williams, from Porthcawl, had been admitted to both hospitals a total of four times between August 2010 and November 2012, when she died.

Her family claimed she suffered “appalling” neglect.

The ombudsman who investigated her family’s complaint was highly critical of her care, and called the case tragic.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board subsequently apologised and admitted the case had been “completely unacceptable”.

Since then, campaigners have called for a public review and the resignation of the board’s chief executive. They claim “hundreds” of examples of poor care have come to light.

A review was ordered by Health Minister Mark Drakeford into levels of care offered by both hospitals.

It catalogued a series of failings at the two hospitals, describing “a sense of hopelessness” in its care for frail and elderly patients. It found “poor professional behaviour” and a “lack of suitably qualified, educated and motivated staff.” One patient told the review team: “I am in Hell.”

Others said elderly patients were instructed to go to the toilet in their beds, medicines had been recorded as given when they were not, and staff tolerated dangerous practice.

The report also found there was:

  • Variable or poor professional behaviour and practice in the care of frail older people
  • Deficiencies in elements of a culture of care based on proper respect and involvement of patients and relatives
  • Unacceptable limitations in essential 24/7 services leading to unnecessary delay to treatment and care
  • Lack of suitably qualified, educated and motivated staff particularly at night
  • Adversarial and slow complaints management
  • Disconnection between front-line staff and managers and confusion over leadership responsibilities and accountabilities
  • Problems with organisational strategies on quality and patient safety, capacity development and workforce planning
  • The report also says some staff felt ill equipped to meet the needs of patients with dementia

The report said: “There are aspects of the care of frail older people which are simply unacceptable and must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

“ABMU has not at any point been ‘another Stafford’. But no one should be in any doubt that there are aspects of the care of frail older people which are simply unacceptable and must be addressed as a matter of urgency through action by the Board of ABMU and by the Welsh government.”

Health Minister Mark Drakeford apologised to those patients affected.

Too many checks are “planned” – they should all be spot and random – including educational ones

22nd May Princess of Wales Hospital wait ‘did not cause death’

19th May Apology over failings at Singleton hospital, Swansea

19th March South Wales NHS: Health bosses agree shake-up recommendation

 

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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