1. ITV Report

Whistleblower 'brought to tears' over thought of being admitted into hospital

A whistleblower who works for the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board - and is also a patient - says she was "brought to tears" at the thought of being admitted to Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.

Q. Within your experience, what is the worst thing that you have witnessed at the hospital?

A. Some of the worst things I have experienced [are] unprofessional from some of the nursing staff.

I have had nursing staff shout at my relatives regarding issues over my care. I have had referrals that have been lost and nothing actioned for three days whilst I have been a patient.

Not seeing a consultant, not seeing anyone other than a nurse, not getting any treatment ... and I have seen patients who have been getting up at unsocial times such as 6am in the morning for bed baths.

I have seen nursing staff gossiping about some of the other nursing staff, telling quite personal details about nursing staff and also discussing other patients.

A whistlerblower told ITV News she was brought to tears over thought of being admitted into hospital. Credit: ITV News

Q. As a member of staff, as someone who works for the health board, understands the issues that staff should be adhering to, what good practice is, is your experience anything like good practice?

A. No. Not at all. As a professional working for the health board I take the standards I work by very seriously, and confidentiality is a big issue. I don't see that happening on numerous occasions that I have been a patient in the hospital.

Q. Why have you feared speaking up about your experience?

A. Partly because I still work for health board and also because I still receive ongoing care at the hospital.

Although the treatment I receive as an outpatient is fantastic, there is still a chance that I may end up being an inpatient again.

When you are ill and sick, you are quite vulnerable. The last thing I want is to feel that I am seen as the difficult patient, when the standard of care you get isn't great in the first place.

To then be seen as a difficult patient - I don't want my care to affected any further.

Q. As a member of staff you would fear, even now, going into that hospital to be treated?

A. I have done yes. And probably still would do now. I have been in tears about the thought of being admitted to hospital.

Q. That's shocking isn't it?

A. Yes. Especially when the only way to treat my illness sometimes means I have to go into hospital for my own well-being.

Q. You are a relatively young, fit and healthy person who does have medical needs, but you are able to stand up for yourself?

A. Yes I would like to think I am, but it's very difficult when you are ill. You become very vulnerable. And it's not until you look back in hindsight that you see just how poor and lacking some of the care is that you receive.

Without hearing about some of the other cases, and the publicity that has happened now, I would probably still have been in fear of coming forward and speaking out.

Q. Are you surprised about what you hear about what has been going on in these two hospitals?

A. Initially yes, but as more and more people come forward, no. I thought I had been unlucky. I thought I had just had a bad experience.

As I have been in more and more times, I have seen it happen more and more. No I am not surprised.

The only thing that does concern me is that at the moment they are focusing on all the issues around elderly patients, and I am far from elderly, and I have never been on an elderly specific ward. I still experience - first hand - poor care.

Paul Roberts, chief executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, said the report into standards of care at two South Wales hospitals was clear that it had "confidence in the existing leadership of the board".