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ABMU Health Board responds to neglect investigation

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board says it welcomes the Welsh Government's review, and says another external review is already scheduled to begin next week.

ABM University Health Board already has a number of robust and pro-active measures underway to maximise the delivery of safe and high quality care for patients at the Princess of Wales Hospital; and already these actions are producing positive results.

Up to date mortality rate figures indicate that the hospital is now in line with other hospitals in Wales. In addition, mortality rates for patients with fractured hips - which were higher than expected - now compare with the best in the UK.

We have also had some very positive feedback from patients and relatives.

A spokesperson says a 'Quality and Safety Programme' has been set up at the Princess of Wales Hospital, adding that a nursing team from the hospital have recently won a UK-wide award.

The external review being arranged by Welsh Government also involves Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

We accept that there were issues around the care of an individual patient while she was an inpatient at Neath Port Talbot Hospital for a brief time and these clearly must be addressed.

However there are not high numbers of complaints about Neath Port Hospital generally, and the main category involves access/appointment issues rather than poor care.

– ABM University Health Board spokesperson


Welsh Conservatives: patient neglect review 'falls short'

While an investigation into standards of care in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board is welcome following the appalling neglect of an elderly and vulnerable patient, this falls far short of the full Keogh-style inquiry the Welsh NHS needs.

We urgently need a robust Wales-wide inquiry into standards of patient care and high death rates in our hospitals to identify failings and put them right to prevent another Mid Staffs scandal.

Carwyn Jones’ Labour Government must listen to calls for a Keogh-style inquiry from frontline NHS staff, respected health campaigners like Ann Clwyd and Welsh patients to prevent any more vulnerable people from suffering horrific neglect and mistreatment.

– Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health

'Significant' minority want education and health handed back to London

Most people backed the Assembly retaining the powers it has in six key areas: tourism, agriculture, housing, roads, education and health. But a significant minority want to see responsibility for health and education returned to London.

20% said education should be the responsibility of the UK Parliament and Government and 27% said the NHS should be administered from London. The survey points out that these are two areas which received most media coverage.

Health board 'accepts unequivocally' critical report

Members of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board have "fully and unequivocally" accepted the findings of a highly critical report on the Health Board’s management and governance arrangements.

At a public meeting today the board apologised for the failings that had been identified in an auditor's report and vowed to move ahead quickly to address the recommendations made.

We know the Report has left staff with many questions and has damaged public confidence in the way the Health Board has been operating. However I have been encouraged to see that the Betsi Cadwaladr Board are not shying away from these difficult issues, and I have found a real determination to make sure that this marks a turning point

– Paul Roberts, Chief Executive, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

We now have a clear plan and structure to drive forward the improvements that are needed, and I am pleased that these are in place. As we move forward we must make sure that we talk and listen to staff in the Health Board, as well as colleagues in partner organisations, to understand their concerns and reflect their views in our work

– Geoff Lang, the Acting Chief Executive, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Hepatitis C roadshow comes to Cardiff

The Hepatitis roadshow in Cardiff City Centre Credit: Richard Morgan

People in Cardiff have been offered free screening and tests for Hepatitis C, thanks to a roadshow in the city.

Between 12,000 and 14,000 people in Wales are believed to suffer from the condition, but less than half of those have been diagnosed. The illness can cause liver cancer if untreated.


Health Minister welcomes Betsi Cadwaladr report

The Health Minister, Mark Drakeford, has welcomed the report into Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board. He says that the Chairman of the Health Board has confirmed his wish to resign, and that the Chief Executive of NHS Wales has been asked to appoint a successor.

I welcome this report from WAO and HIW. It is clear the board has been through a difficult period; however, many fundamental challenges still remain within the organisation.

The Chair has formally notified me of his wish to resign and I have accepted his resignation. The Chief Executive has also informed me of her intention to leave the organisation and the health board is currently working through the detail of her departure.

I wish to pay tribute to the efforts of the Chair and Chief Executive but I have asked David Sissling, Chief Executive of NHS Wales, to move forward swiftly to appoint their successors and enable the health board to begin a fresh chapter.

David has already taken robust steps to address the issues faced by the health board prior to today’s report being issued, and I will ask him to consider the report’s findings and inform me what further action is necessary.

– Mark Drakeford, Health Minister

Health board Chairman to stand down after report

The Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is standing down after a report found failings which put patient's safety at risk.

Under the circumstances, I believe it is appropriate that I stand down as Chairman of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, and I have informed the Minister of my intention to do so as soon as appropriate alternative arrangements are in place.

There are many fundamental challenges for the Board but I am confident that these will be responded to positively to deliver the necessary improvements and I shall continue to contribute fully during this transitional period.

– Prof Merfyn Jones, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Chairman

Health board responds to report

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will today formally receive a report by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales and the Wales Audit Office following their joint review of our governance arrangements. The report identified significant failings and major challenges for the Board which we recognise and accept.

Although steps have already been taken to tackle some of the issues, the Health Board is determined to respond to these matters in full and will ensure that the report’s recommendations are addressed as a priority.

Our progress will be subject to ongoing review and scrutiny by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the Wales Audit Office and Welsh Government.

– Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board statement

Board's effectiveness 'significantly compromised'

"The Health Board's current governance arrangements and procedures do not adequately address the gap between the ward and the Board. We have concerns that the Board's governance arrangements and organisational structure are compromising its ability to properly identify issues concerning the quality and safety of patient care."

– Chief Executive of HIW, Kate Chamberlain

"The effectiveness of the Board has been significantly compromised by a breakdown in working relationships between some senior leaders in the organisation. There has been a lack of cohesion in the way executive directors work together and the report raises further concerns about the stability and capacity of the executive team as a result of staff turnover and sickness absence.

"Encouragingly, the Board recognises the scale of the challenges ahead and that strong leadership from the Chair and clinical leaders will be vital. The pace at which problems are tackled must accelerate."

– Auditor General for Wales, Huw Vaughan Thomas
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