Labour MP Ann Clwyd says she's still receiving letters of concern from patients in Wales who've had bad experiences in Welsh hospitals. The Cynon Valley MP led an inquiry for the UK Government into the handling of complaints in the English NHS.
Speaking in a House of Commons debate she said Welsh health chiefs also need to learn lessons from the Francis review into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. And she said concerns about the NHS in Wales calls into question the prospect of giving the Welsh Government any further powers.
The announcement of a review into the way complaints are handled by the NHS in Wales is partly a response to calls by Ann Clwyd who carried out a similar inquiry into the NHS in England. She's told me that she welcomes the news
I'm very pleased to hear that they're inviting complaints. I shared my recommendations and the complaints report with Mark Drakeford and his officials and I did send Carwyn Jones a synopsis of the letters from patients in Wales.
I'm still getting letters, including from Wales, in every post.
If [the Welsh Government] puts a system in place and similar recommendations then that's a very good thing indeed and I very much welcome it.
– Ann Clwyd MP
She also welcomes the appointment of Keith Evans as someone who 'sounds like they've got a lot of experience dealing with customer complaints.' And she told me she'd be happy to pass onto his review team letters and emails she continues to receive from patients and their families in Wales.
The Labour MP Ann Clwyd, who has represented the constituency of Cynon Valley since 1984, says she is "proud" to have been elected, after announcing that she will stand down at the next general election.
I am particularly proud to have been elected in the constituency of Keir Hardie and the first woman to be elected in an industrial seat in Wales.
The miners who always gave me their backing I hope would not be disappointed.
I will continue to speak out on domestic and international affairs,especially on human rights.
Labour MP Ann Clwyd won top prize -Politician of the Year- at tonight's Welsh Political Awards. The Cynon Valley MP's award was for demanding better treatment of hospital patients. It began when she complained that her own husband was neglected before his death at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.
The Prime Minister asked her to investigate hospital conditions in England and she had=s made it clear that her finding apply equally to Wales. A key finding was that exceptionally high death rates at some hospitals are a strong indication that patients are not properly looked after.
But he's rejected her call for a Keogh-style inquiry into Welsh hospitals with higher-than-average mortality rates, saying 'an inquiry is not the best way forward.'
Ann Clwyd’s Review relates to the complaints system in NHS England hospitals, but it does have relevance to NHS Wales. We will reflect on the recommendations, and I am sure that it will make a valuable contribution to our thinking. I have met with Ann Clwyd to discuss healthcare in Wales and hear her concerns. I am grateful to Ann for keeping in touch during her inquiry.
Earlier this year we published 'Delivering Safe Care, Compassionate Care' which sets out the Welsh Government's response to the Francis inquiry. Whilst the vast majority of patients continue to receive good care, we must ensure that the processes we have in place to raise concerns are effective, accessible and something that everybody can understand – and which do lead to improvements.
It is now two years since we introduced ‘Putting Things Right’ which includes complaints handling, for the NHS in Wales. It is timely to take a look at how well they are working. I will make a statement to Assembly Members on how we propose to do this.
In terms of calls for a Keogh-style inquiry into the NHS in Wales, it is timely to look at how things are working. The best way to do that is currently under consideration. An inquiry is not the best way forward.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has urged the Welsh Government to take the findings of Ann Clwyd's report seriously and not 'continue to stick its head in the sand.'
This review happened because the Coalition Government took Ann Clwyd’s harrowing story about the treatment of her husband seriously. Despite his mistreatment being in a Welsh hospital, the Coalition acknowledges that these problems are UK wide. Yet what has the Welsh Labour Government done? Nothing. Their inaction has been shameful.
While the Coalition Government is acting to improve health care in England, the Welsh Labour Government continues to pretend all is well. Things won’t improve until the Welsh Labour Government acknowledges the sheer scale of the problems our NHS faces.
Ann Clwyd has explicitly said that that Wales is behind in ‘every instance’. If even one of Labour’s own MPs is saying this, surely the Welsh Labour Government should start listening.
– Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader