– Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
We apologise sincerely to the patients and families who we have let down at the Princess of Wales Hospital.
While there are many examples of excellent care at the hospital, we are very aware that this has not been the case for everyone. This is clearly not acceptable. All patients have the right to expect consistent, high quality care. We are doing our utmost to ensure that this is delivered on every ward and department.
In May 2013 we invited an external team, Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), to review quality and safety at the Princess of Wales Hospital. AQuA is clinically led, data driven and evidence based organisation, and has a proven track record in helping hospitals provide safer and better quality care.
This was in response to serious complaints about care provided to some patients; critical Ombudsman’s reports; mortality rates, and a police investigation into allegations of falsification of records by some of our nurses. AQuA’s recommendations will be presented to our Board shortly, backed by an action plan.
Additionally, our Chief Executive, Paul Roberts, set up and personally chairs a Princess of Wales Hospital Quality and Safety Steering Group. This group, which includes patient and ABM Community Health Council representatives, is pushing forward urgent changes ahead of the AQuA review’s recommendations.
While we acknowledge there is still much work to do - including dealing with continuing high levels of pressure on emergency and urgent care - we are making progress. Up to date mortality figures indicate that the Princess of Wales Hospital is now in line with other hospitals in Wales. In addition, mortality rates for patients with fractured hips – which were higher than expected – are now well below the UK average. We have also dramatically reduced the number of medication errors, particularly out of hours.
We have also introduced ‘Friends and Family’ feedback on wards so we become aware of issues quickly and can act on them as soon as possible.
So far, the feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive (90%+), and any problems raised have been dealt with swiftly.
In addition to the AQuA review, the Welsh Government has also initiated its own external review by Professor June Andrews and her team from the University of Stirling. They are currently undertaking an independent review of care that older people receive at the hospital, and are expected to report back to Welsh Government in the spring.
We will use the recommendations from both Professor Andrews’ review and the AQuA review, to drive forward high quality care across the Princess of Wales Hospital.