Princess of Wales Hospital's urgent action on patient care

Princess of Wales Hospital The health board said it took a collective approach to concerns about the hospital

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Urgent action has been taken to address concerns over a hospital's quality of patient care and response to complaints, it has been claimed.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board said improvements to the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, were "well under way".

They include senior nurses spending more time on the wards.

The health board meets on Thursday to discuss criticism of services at the hospital.

It runs hospital and health services in Swansea, Bridgend, Neath and Port Talbot areas.

Start Quote

Once it became clear that there were a number of issues of concern at the hospital it was decided to tackle these issues collectively”

End Quote Dr Push Mangat, interim medical director Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

There have been a series of concerns about Princess of Wales Hospital in recent months:

  • There were calls for an inquiry in July after the ombudsman found that an elderly woman patient suffered serious neglect
  • The leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said in August a leaked email showed the health board's complaints department was in a "chaotic state"
  • A 44-year-old man last month became the third nurse at the hospital to be arrested in a South Wales Police investigation into claims over record keeping. Two women had previously been bailed
  • In March, statistics from the Welsh government showed the hospital had the fifth highest risk adjusted mortality index rate - an indicator of excess or unexpected deaths - out of Wales' 17 district hospitals

A report before the board meeting on Thursday said issues of concern had been tackled.

It said "clinical leadership" over the summer had "already started to make a difference" with four wards recording significantly lower numbers of incidents of concern over the past two months.

Further inspections showed good standards of patient care and documentation.

Ward sisters and charge nurses will be expected to be on the wards more often, checking each patient three times per shift, the report said.

Senior nurses are to be freed from paperwork to spend more time on the wards.

The equivalent of 31 nurses are due to start at the hospital this month, allowing an extra nurse to be on medical wards at night.

A chief nurse for the hospital has been appointed while a new head of nursing for the Bridgend area is to start in November.

The report also addressed concerns about higher mortality rates than might be expected in some specialities.

A detailed review of mortality rates of patients admitted with broken hips will be carried out.

The health board's interim medical director, Dr Push Mangat, said: "Once it became clear that there were a number of issues of concern at the hospital it was decided to tackle these issues collectively rather than individually through standard board procedures.

"Since these issues were reported a significant number of actions have been taken."

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