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Health board chief exec: Further staff suspensions 'will not be ruled out'

The boss of an under fire health board says he cannot rule out further staff suspensions. It follows the publication of a damning report yesterday which said problems at two hospitals, in Neath Port Talbot Hospital and The Princess of Wales Hospital, needed to be addressed as a "matter of urgency."

Paul Roberts, the Chief Executive of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, says the report's recommendations will be implemented in full.

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Report raises bigger questions about NHS in Wales

The publication of today's report highlights serious concerns specifically about the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital - but it does also raise broader issues about the NHS in Wales as a whole and makes recommendations for the Welsh Government.

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales told ITV News: "we need to know the answer to a fundamental question - could this be happening elsewhere?"

The Welsh Conservatives reiterated their calls for a full inquiry into the NHS in Wales - similar to that carried out into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust in England.

Report author: 'Catastrophe' if changes are not made

The co-author of today's report into 'unacceptable' standards of care at two South Wales hospitals has told ITV News that it will be a "catastrophe" if all of the report's recommendations are not put in place by this time next year.

There are 14 recommendations to the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, and four to the Welsh Government - both organisations have accepted all of them.

There will be an independent review in 12 months' time to see how this action plan has been carried out - and Mark Butler said "this is such a clear plan of action that there is no excuse for this not making the significant improvement that is required in these hospitals."

Speaking to our presenter Jonathan Hill, he insisted the situation here is not the same as at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, where hundreds of patients are believed to have died because of poor standards of care over many years.

He said: "Mid Staffs was a catastrophic organisational failure. This is set of local problems that need to be supported out."

Health Minister: Spot checks to be held at hospitals

Health Minister Mark Drakeford announced this afternoon that spot checks will be held at all district general hospitals in Wales, looking at the standards of care for older people.

He said "the spot checks will focus on the delivery of medication, hydration, night time sedation and continence care. A new task group will lead the operation of the spot checks and report back to the Health Minister."

Speaking to the Senedd this afternoon, he offered an "unreserved apology" to patients and their families "whose care has fallen short of the standard which they had a right to expect."

Report author: I have concerns about care everywhere

Professor June Andrews, who led the review into standards of care for older people at the Princess of Wales Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital, commissioned by the Welsh Government, admitted her remit was "quite narrow".

But, she warned: "I often have concerns about the care of older people in hospital everywhere - and I would be wondering whether there would be similar situations happening in other places."

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Report 'horrific and appalling' says Shadow Minister

Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar has told AMs that the report on Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot hospitals was horrific and appalling, with echoes of previous reports, such as the Older Persons' Commissioner's Dignity in Care report.

He said people needed to know such failings will never again be tolerated. Mr Millar suggested that financial pressures were partly responsible for what had happened. He said the minister should meet patients and their families and personally apologise to them. Not that an apology would be enough.

Saying sorry isn't going to heal the wounds that this report has exposed.

– Shadow Health Minister Darren Millar AM

Mr Millar said he would not ask for heads to roll on this occasion, though he would like to know why the Chief Executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board was chosen to help the Betsi Cadwaladr board with its governance.

Health Minister makes 'unreserved apology' in Senedd

Health Minister Mark Drakeford has begun his statement to AMs on the Andrews report by offering his own "unreserved apology" to patients and their families for their treatment at two Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board hospitals.

I am determined that nothing else like this will happen in this health board or elsewhere in Wales.

– Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM

The minister said he's seeking immediate assurances that failings in basic care, such as the provision of drinking water and help in going to the toilet, are not more widespread. Mr Drakeford announced that there will be a series of unannounced "dignity and essential care" inspections.

Ann Clwyd: Health inspection overhaul needed

Welsh MP Ann Clwyd has warned that today's report into the standards of care at two Welsh hospitals "underlines the urgent need for a radical overhaul of independent regulation and inspection in NHS Wales."

The Cynon Valley MP has worked on complaints procedures within the NHS, after claiming that her husband was "treated like a battery hen" before his death at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Ann Clwyd says today's report highlights failures in how health services are inspected.

She has repeatedly said that Healthcare Inspectorate Wales is not fit for purpose, and needs to be replaced with an independent health watchdog.

Today, she said: "these events could not have happened if there was a regulator doing its job. I hope that we shall see an announcement on this as soon as possible."

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