A mum from Cowbridge has claimed senior nurses at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board failed to properly care for her disabled son and harassed her family when they raised concerns.
Micaela Turner’s son Cai died 14 months ago aged 11. Cai was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Vici Syndrome and required round the clock care provided by his family and the Children's Community Nursing Services (CCNS) team at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.
Speaking exclusively to ITV Wales, Micaela says her son required a 70 hour a week care package but claims he regularly only received 15 hours.
She also claims Cai’s support was removed at short notice if she complained of poor standards of care.
Micaela also alleges she was harassed by senior nurses within the CCNS with three bogus social service reports made against her family.
One, she claims, falsely implicated her three-year-old son in administering water to Cai neglectfully.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have said they are sorry that Micaela feels they were not able to support her in the way in which she wanted towards the end of Cai's life.
"They let me down time after time", Micaela told ITV Wales.
"I feel I was never listened to, I felt at times I was bullied by them, they did a lot of things that I thought was not right or professional.
"I always felt they took everything personally and then took umbrage against me and because they behaved this way it had a massive impact on the care Cai received.
"It has caused me so much heartache, I’m 14 months down the line from when I lost my child and yet I’m still talking about what’s happened, the way they made me feel, the way they treated me and my family and I’m just so hurt that my son never got what he needed."
Micaela says she was empowered to tell her story after ITV News uncovered allegations of inadequate care, bullying and harassment by senior nurses within the CCNS at Swansea Bay University Health Board.
Families in Swansea told ITV Wales how they had been subjected to poor care, were the victims of false social service reports and in one case had police officers sent to their home for complaining of poor care on social media.
In March last year, SBUHB commissioned an independent review into their CCNS. The conclusion of that review found a number of significant failings which were described as “completely unacceptable” by the health board who apologised to the families affected.
Micaela says she hopes telling her story will help prevent other families in Cardiff from suffering.
"I was fighting for my son. They didn’t care about me as an individual and I felt when Cai died it was like ‘we have all these hours to give to someone else now’. That to me is what the service was about, pinching from Paul to give to Tom.
"If I can change this for one family by telling my story, to stop this from happening. I’m a grieving mum I don’t deserve to feel like this."
'Our deepest sympathies'
A spokesperson for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: "We have had a long-standing relationship with Cai and his mother Micaela over many years and are very sorry that Micaela feels that we were not able to support her in the way in which she wanted towards the end of Cai's life.
"Our staff had gotten to know both Cai and Micaela very well and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time. We have reached out to Micaela through our patient experience team and she kindly agreed to share Cai's story with our Board, sharing his health journey and the difficulties he faced throughout his life.
"We'll continue to work with Micaela and we send our deepest sympathies to her and the family during this very sad time."