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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Elderly care at two Welsh hospitals 'shocking and unacceptable'

Written by The Editorial Team

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has called the findings of the Review into care at two hospitals, run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, a “damning indictment of failures in the most basic of care for older people”.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has ordered an immediate review of the care of elderly patients at Welsh hospitals, following the publication of the report ‘Trusted to Care’, which investigated quality of care and patient safety at Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals.

The report found that at both hospitals there was 'poor professional behaviour' and a 'lack of suitably qualified, educated and motivated staff.'

One of the review team found 'a chaotic atmosphere' where staff appeared 'stressed and not in control'.

'They told me that they were six senior staff down, with one suspended and one on sick leave. The agency staff nurse had not appeared. There were patients calling out, one stuck in bed with bed rails and one lady said to me "I am in Hell"'.

Sarah Rochira (pictured), Older People’s Commissioner, said: “This shocking and absolutely unacceptable catalogue of failures undermines the many examples of excellent hospital care we have across Wales and will be of great concern to older people and their families.”

She wants the health board to learn from the Review’s findings and act upon the recommendations immediately to deliver the improvements needed to reassure older people that they will receive the highest standard of care.

She added: “More widely, health board chief executives and chairs across Wales must also consider the findings of this Review and need to consider whether they are confident that similar failures could not occur, and are not occurring, within their health boards and take immediate and effective action if they have any concerns whatsoever.

“Older people have a right to be safe, well cared for and treated with dignity and respect when in the care of our NHS and while there is much change already underway in Wales to improve hospital care, it is essential that the NHS continues to learn from the experiences of patients and that the pace of change increases to ensure that, wherever they live in Wales, older people receive the very highest standard of care while in our hospitals.”