Welsh hospital care and ministerial apologies


The "Trusted to Care" report outlines some of the worst examples of care in the NHS in Wales since the beginning of devolution, which incidentally happened exactly 15 years ago this week.

It was striking at First Minister's Questions how the usual yah-boo politics surrounding the state of the NHS was entirely absent.

The First Minister opened up immediately by accepting the invitation from the leader of the Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, to apologise and to accept that the report was shocking.

I'm told that members of the Welsh government were taken aback by some of the report's findings into standards of care for the elderly at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

Carwyn Jones says ministers can't be aware of everything that goes on in every hospital ward across Wales but instead we should judge him on the response to any failures that are identified.

There were conference calls across health boards this morning in which they were told they have a month to respond before a series of spot checks get underway across Wales.

The current chair of ABMU health board, the former Welsh Government minister Andrew Davies, said he considered his position but is continuing in the job.

No 'blame game'

But as Carwyn Jones said there won't be any heads rolling as a result and that was echoed by the Health Minister Mark Drakeford in the chamber when he stressed that the reaction should be about being constructive rather than blaming people.

The question is whether that will be enough to satisfy people when such a damning report has been published which talks about a disconnection between front-line staff and managers.

We already know it won't be enough to satisfy some of the relatives.

And we already know that the series of spot checks will not be enough to satisfy the continuing calls for a full Keogh-style public inquiry.

There are two sides to this debate. On one, the Welsh government says its refusal to hold a public inquiry is not because of a lack of transparency. It says that where there are problems it becomes aware of it responds and you could argue that is what happened here.

The flip side is the argument that unless there's a pan-Wales inquiry there'll be no guarantee that problems like these are not happening elsewhere.

The Conservatives in particular make the point that things have reached such a stage that an inquiry is the only way to restore confidence.

There'll be plenty of debate to follow. One of the main issues will be the inspection regime and failures of the system to pick these problems up in the first place.

The state of the NHS has been the big political issue in Wales for some time. Reports like this will ensure it stays that way for some time to come.

Nick Servini Article written by Nick Servini Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    #15 There seems to be an impression that running a blood test is like using a washing machine. Put the tablet in and press the button. Good training, good inspection, good maintenance and good quality control are essential. If you think all testers are the same, get hold of the inter-lab quality-control chart.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Simple blood test are easy to process. Results can be available the same day. Nurses are competent to take blood, fill in a request form and follow up the result. That's how the NHS used to run. What's changed?

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    I would expect these nurses undertaking blood tests are, trained competently, checked and supervised, do you know something else or making an assumption? or is it you believe the NHS should be like the old boiler makers "one man one job"

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    #13 As with most things in modern life, it all depends on whether you think things like having your gas-fire fitted by a registered engineer is a sensible H&S precaution, or an expensive rip-off preserving jobs for the lads.
    Similarly for having lab tests run by qualified MLSOs. Or at least supervised by them. Would the practice manager recognise a quality control chart ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    #11 in Cornwall recently on attending the local health centre I was informed I needed a blood test so I asked them to send the result to my Welsh GP when they have it in the next week, Whoaa I was told the nurses here can process your blood test (been trained apparently) and we will let you know in 2 to 3 hours.
    Wales 2 week wait and week for results.


Comments 5 of 17



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