Lilian Williams death: Minister orders Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board review

Outside the Princess of Wales
Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend Photo:

ITV News has seen a copy of a letter in which the Health Minister Mark Drakeford orders an independent review into one of the biggest health boards in Wales.

It follows the death of grandmother Lilian Williams in 2012. In her final years she was admitted and readmitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital. Her family complained about the "appalling" standards of care she received. They alleged she had not been fed or watered on occasions. The health board later admitted some prescribed medicines were not given to Mrs Williams and she had been needlessly sedated on occasions.

After writing to the health board to complain, her family were told a POVA review (Protection of Vulnerable adults) would take place. That would require the hospital to work with police and social services to see what went wrong. The POVA never took place.

In subsequent admissions Mrs Williams family filmed her in hospital with medication dissolving on the floor in urine. In the final days of her life, the family were told medicines, food and water were to be withdrawn from Lilian Williams because she was suffering from Pneumonia and likely to die however a later coroners report found she did not have the lung condition but had died from a heart attack.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board apologised to Mrs Williams family. It said a number of actions had been taken to improve problems including increasing the number of nurses.

Mrs Williams' son Gareth and others have campaigned for an inquiry into the health board, after meeting the health minister it seems they have their wish.

The review will look at

  • The culture of care - especially of older patients - on wards
  • Administration of medical records
  • Look at how complaints are handled

Mark Drakeford also says he is considering an independent review into 'Putting Things Right' the NHS redress policy to see how it is being implemented.