Adam Cairns, the Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board - which runs the University Hospital of Wales - spoke to ITV News this evening.
He told Jonathan Hill that the findings of the report by the Royal College of Surgeons are "troubling, worrying and unacceptable".
He said the primary problem - of getting patients into the hospital - caused cancellations of planned procedures, and needs to be tackled with a "much more resilient plan" in future.
Labour MP Ann Clwyd has called for an inquiry into failings at Wales' biggest hospital and called it the Welsh equivalent of the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital scandal, in an interview with the BBC.
Adam Cairns, the Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, which runs the University Hospital of Wales, has told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme that 12 patients have died on the cardiac surgery waiting list over the last 15 months.
The Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Community Health Council says it wants to "provide some reassurances to patients who are currently or awaiting surgery within the University Hospital of Wales."
The CHC does not believe that this report indicates that Cardiff & Vale UHB is another Mid Staffordshire incident as reported in the media today and has major concerns on how this analogy will impact on patients confidence, who are either undergoing or awaiting treatment in Cardiff.
The UHB has recently instigated a new structure which became operational in April shortly after the RCS visit, this new structure has put the Clinicians in charge of their respective clinical boards to take forward improvements in services for patients.
– Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Community Health Council
The CHC acknowledges that reading the report is concerning and raises many questions about the standard and quality of services being provided. Executives of the Cardiff & Vale UHB have consistently provided the CHC with updates on the delays to elective surgery and the challenges faced with the influx of patients through the A&E department in the early part of this year. It should be acknowledged this increase in A&E departments was UK wide and not localised to the Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan area.
The report from the Royal College of Surgeons says that South Wales is the only part of the UK where patients are dying on cardiac surgery waiting lists.
Other problems identified included:
- Children being fitted with hearing aids because of a lack of time and resources to insert grommets to treat ear infections
- Patients "suffering complications" because of delays in treating kidney stones
- A&E and intensive care units being "frequently grid-locked" with patients "often stacked up in corridors and ambulances".
The Royal College of Surgeons sent its report to the health board, Health Inspectorate Wales, and the Welsh Government.
Wales' health minister, Mark Drakeford, was "very concerned" to read the report "and the risks to quality and safety it highlighted."
– Welsh Government spokesperson
The Health Minister was very concerned to read the Royal College of Surgeons report and the risks to quality and safety it highlighted.
He invited the report's authors for an urgent meeting, which took place in June, and the Chief Executive of NHS Wales asked the Health Board and the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee for a joint plan to address the capacity and patient flow issues raised in the report.
This plan has now been produced and is being implemented, and the Minister is being kept informed of progress on a regular basis.
The Welsh Conservatives have reiterated their call for a major inquiry into the state of the NHS in Wales, similar to a high-profile one carried out in England.
Fourteen NHS trusts in England were investigated in an inquiry carried out by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, England's NHS medical director, and a report published earlier this month.
It was set up following the Mid-Staffordshire Hospital scandal, where hundreds of patients died due to poor care.
– Andrew RT Davies, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives
This is now a hat-trick of catastrophic failings in three of Wales’ largest health boards.
How many more patients have to ‘die regularly’ before Labour’s Carwyn Jones acts and introduces a Keogh-style inquiry?
Substandard care in just one area should be enough to force consideration of this. The full scale of disturbing facts now published is proof that action is desperately needed.
The terrible findings of surgeons looking at Wales’ largest hospital are beyond worrying and similarities to the recent Mid Staffordshire scandal are distressing.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says it has developed "a detailed action plan to make sure that we are addressing all areas" of concern, and the Royal College of Surgeons will visit again in September to see if there has been improvement.
The health board is looking at all options to increase cardiac surgery capacity, and looking at proposals to get patients treated more quickly.
Chief Executive Alun Cairns said the health board is working with surgeons "on a range of actions", and looking at what extra capacity could be provided, and improving how it manages emergency, care.
– Adam Cairns, Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
We know that we can do better and we have given priority to the issues raised in the RCS report.One of the main areas of concern has been the pressure on unscheduled care, seen here in Cardiff and the Vale, Wales and across the UK, and the impact that has on other services.
A great deal of engaging with clinical teams and partners such as the third sector and Local Authorities has been done over these issues and a number of pieces of work, directed and driven by clinical staff, are now starting to take effect.
Wales' biggest hospital has been described as "dangerous", in a highly critical report from the Royal College of Surgeons.
It found that "patients are regularly dying on the waiting list from their cardiac pathology" and there was "universal consensus" among clinicians at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff that services there were "dangerous."
It warns "the current situation represents a severe risk to patients and urgent action is required."
"A wide range of concerns were raised" by clinical leads at the hospital during a routine visit by the RCS in April - the most prevalent was "the inability to admit patients for elective surgery." There were more than 2,000 operations either cancelled or not scheduled between January and March 2013.
"The main reason for this is the apparent unconstrained admission of emergency patients and the inability to effectively discharge patients", the report said.