AM criticised for questioning hospital's hit and run response

Bosses at Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales say they're 'disappointed' by comments made by an AM about the response to the hit and run incidents in the city last week. Responding to concerns raised by Conservative AM Darren Millar that the hospital may have been struggling to cope, they said:

The unit fully reopened at 7pm only two hours after these tragic events. At the time of the incident the numbers and condition of the patients we were expecting was unknown due to the complexity and nature of the incident the emergency services were dealing with. This does not mean that the UHB was unable to cope with the volume of patients we received but was an appropriate action in line with the Major Incident procedure and our need to respond to needs of the severely injured.

– Paul Hollard, the Deputy Chief Executive, and Dr Graham Shortland, Medical Director, for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

A Welsh Government source has added to the criticism, saying that:

At a time when people - including children - are still being treated at UHW, these remarks show a total lack of respect and human warmth. People will be appalled by his comments, coming so soon after the horrendous events of last Friday. Hospital staff performed with great professionalism and skill under very difficult circumstances. Everyone is grateful for the dedication they showed. This begs the question - where on earth is Darren Millar's judgement?

I've spoken to Darren Millar tonight who said he was simply asking a 'reasonable question' about concerns which had been raised with him and that he was perfectly satisfied by the explanation. He told me:

My sympathies extend to the families involved and I appreciate the hard work done by doctors and A&E staff. I was simply raising concerns which had been raised with me about the capacity of emergency services in our capital city to deal with a major incident. It's a shame there wasn't this clarity before but I'm now satisfied that the health board was responding in a planned way to what was a major incident.

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