Inquiry demanded into NHS Wales after survey slams patient service

27 October 2014

Inquiry demanded into NHS Wales after survey slams patient service

Health campaigners, alongside The Daily Mail newspaper, are demanding a full-scale inquiry into the Welsh NHS amid allegations of severe patient neglect running through the entire service.

The newspaper, which is running a week long awareness campaign against the Labour run Welsh NHS, claims to have uncovered cases of patients dying while on waiting lists or being forced to move to England for life-saving treatment. The newspaper claims the endemic problems are allegedly worse than the Mid Staffordshire scandal with The British Medical Association, the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru nationalists and Labour MP Ann Clwyd now demanding an independent inquiry.

Mistreatment.com assists a large number of members of the public from Wales who have used the NHS there and have made a wide variety of claims regarding medical mistreatment, predominately relating to A&E, misdiagnosis and delay and relating to elderly care.

The Mail’s investigation states it will reveal that:

·  Police are probing allegations of neglect of vulnerable patients in South Wales hospitals;

·  Six nurses are on criminal charges, 15 are suspended and more arrests are expected;

·  Families who have complained say medical records have been altered or gone missing;

·  Ambulances can take hours to arrive even in emergencies;

·  Elderly patients are denied food and water for long spells and told to ‘go to the toilet’ in their beds. 

Concern about the Welsh NHS has been raised for many months now. In November 2013, Sir Bruce Keogh of NHS England warned that mortality rates were ‘persistently high’ there and that six hospitals should be investigated in the wake of his findings. Meanwhile, just last month The British Medical Association warned there was an ‘imminent meltdown’ facing the NHS in Wales along with the College of Emergency Medicine warning that casualty units were putting patients at risk.

The Daily Mail makes its allegations pursuant to a survey by the Welsh Conversatives, commissioned by the Welsh Conservatives, which found that a third of patients who had visited hospitals in NHS Wales had encountered problems with almost one in five feeling their concerns were not taken seriously. In addition, the survey found 71 % backed an independent inquiry into the NHS and 60% believing the Welsh NHS had worsened in the past 5 years.

"In Wales we are still in denial"

The survey was based on 3,295 responses to a survey posted online and sent to 5,000 homes chosen at random.

Gareth Williams has campaigned to expose failings at the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health board in South Wales following the death of mother Lilian through alleged medical mistreatment.

‘I believe the indifference of government ministers in Cardiff is callous,’ said the 54-year-old retired teacher.

‘They can no longer hold up the pretence that there are only isolated concerns in ABMU or Wales. In Wales we are still in denial. I think we are where England was when the Mid Staffs scandal broke.’

Medical mistreatment of elderly patients was raised at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Rhyl, North Wales where police are investigating claims that staff used furniture to restrain dementia patients.

A spokesman for the Cardiff administration said: ‘The vast majority of people in Wales receive excellent care from our NHS, which is more open, transparent and is subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than any other health service in the UK. If issues are identified, we work quickly to put them right.’

A spokesman for the ABMU health board said: ‘The vast majority of patients receive good quality care – our complaints rate over the past year was 0.15 per cent – but we know that any poor care is unacceptable and we are determined to put things right.

Patient Care Options

Have you or a loved one wanted to raise a complaint with the NHS in Wales regarding medical mistreatment that has been experienced? Our specialist teams can provide FREE advice about what your options are, whether you want to make a medical negligence claim or medical mistreatment complaint or simply to better understand what your patient rights. You can contact us here today for  a no-obligation and completely free conversation to discuss what happened to you.