‘Unacceptable’ treatment of elderly patient at Princess of Wales Hospital …

An independent inquiry is due to be launched following the “unacceptable” treatment of an elderly woman at two hospitals.

Following calls from the family of 82-year-old amputee Lilian Williams, Health Minister Mark Drakeford said he will commission a review of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board (ABMU), which runs both the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

Health bosses have already apologised to Mrs Williams’ family and other concerned relatives for what they termed the “poor” and “unacceptable” care received by some elderly people.

ABMU chiefs have also put in place a raft of measures to improve care, which it previously said was of a high standard in the majority of cases.

Today, a spokeswoman said these measures are already producing positive results.

She said that as an example of the progress that is being made, the Advanced Nurse Practitioner team from Princess of Wales Hospital won the prestigious UK-wide Nursing Times Award for Care of Older People last night.

The spokeswoman added: “As a Board we have taken the concerns about care at the Princess of Wales Hospital very seriously. We have discussed these issues in public at Board meetings over the last few months and we have set up a focused Quality and Safety Programme at the Princess of Wales Hospital which is beginning to deliver results. As a Board we have shown ourselves to be open and to deal with concerns when they are raised.”

Mrs Williams was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital three times between 2010 and 2012 and to Neath Port Talbot Hospital in 2012.

Following a Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) inquiry carried out by ABMU and social services the family of Mrs Williams, from Porthcawl, who died last year, discovered she had been unnecessarily sedated with sleeping tablets, including temazepam, by hospital staff who also failed to give her prescribed medication and care for her badly damaged leg.

Her family was also given false assurances by health bosses that after they first raised concerns in 2010, two-and-a-half years before her death, the POVA inquiry would be carried out.

But the inquiry did not happen until 2012.

The family claims this led to delays in identifying and solving problems.

Princess of Wales hospital
An inquiry has been launched into the treatment of a patient at the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend

And, after her death last year was attributed to pneumonia by hospital doctors, a subsequent post-mortem examination found her lungs were clear and that she had died of heart disease.

Believing the POVA inquiry did not go far enough, Mrs Williams’ family has repeatedly called on Mr Drakeford to launch an inquiry.

In a letter sent to Mrs Williams’ family following a meeting on October 17, Mr Drakeford said the investigation – to be led by Professor June Andrews, director of the dementia services development centre at the University of Stirling, Scotland – will look at professional nursing standards at ABMU and how the health board responds to lapses in standards; the culture of care in relation to older patients; the handling of complaints and administration and recording of medicines.

He said the report produced from this work and the subsequent actions taken will be made public.

Mrs Williams’ son Gareth Williams has welcomed the inquiry, adding that he was pleased the Minister has “grasped the mettle”.

“He has done what is urgently needed,” said Mr Williams.

He added he was particularly pleased the inquiry will look at the complaints procedures and the investigation and redress department, after some of the responses to his complaints came back addressed to a Mr Griffiths and he was also sent an e-mail in error in which a staff member said the complaints department at ABMU “was in meltdown”.

“It’s not so much that we feel vindicated. We are hopeful the inquiry will deliver,” said Mr Williams.

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said he will draw up detailed terms of reference for an independent review into certain areas of practice within ABMU health board, involving the senior and independent figure who we have asked to help lead this work.

South Wales Police are also investigating allegations of neglect involving the falsification of entries on patient records at the Princess of Wales Hospital. Three nurses have been arrested so far.

Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/princess-wales-hospital-bridgend-unacceptable-6258440