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Welsh Govt: spot checks will ensure hospital standards

The Welsh Government insists new hospital spot checks are a 'direct result' of a report into failings in care for elderly people at two hospitals. Plaid Cymru has called the scheme a 'rehash' of an inspection plan which was announced in 2011.

A Welsh Government spokesperson says:

The spot-checks announced by the Health Minister yesterday are a direct result of the Trusted to Care report about Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals. They will be unannounced, cover every district general hospital in Wales and be carried out by a ministerial team of experts set up for this purpose.

They will focus on four very specific areas of care for older patients highlighted by this report – the delivery of medication, hydration, night-time sedation and continence care – and will be overseen by senior experts in these fields who are independent of the Welsh NHS.

In the six months after these ministerial spot-checks, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales will carry out, and report rapidly, on a new a programme of its well-regarded unannounced dignity and essential care inspections.

These spot-checks and the enhanced follow-up inspection regime by HIW will ensure the standards we rightly expect and demand of our health service are being delivered.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Hospital spot checks 'rehash' earlier scheme says Plaid

Plaid Cymru has accused the Welsh Government of 'rehashing' a scheme from three years ago as part of its response to a critical report into care for elderly patients at two Welsh hospitals.

But Plaid's Health Spokesperson Elin Jones says the previous Health Minister had also announced a system of spot checks in response to a report by the Older Person's Commissioner. The checks began in 2011 but Plaid says petered out a year later.

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Prime Minister: 'the NHS in Wales is not in a good state'

David Cameron has said that the Andrews Report into care failings at two Welsh hospitals is concerning and needs to be studied. During his weekly question session in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said 'the NHS in Wales is not in a good state.'

It's the latest in a series of regular attacks on Labour's running of the health service in Wales made by the Conservative leader. He told MPs that Labour should be 'getting a grip... and sorting out the NHS.'

Cameron: ABMU health board report is 'very concerning'

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron commented on yesterday's report into care at the Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals.

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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