Ann Clwyd asked to advise on NHS hospital complaints
- 6 February 2013
- From the section Wales
Labour MP Ann Clwyd has welcomed her appointment by Prime Minister David Cameron as an adviser on how NHS hospitals handle complaints.
Ms Clwyd had protested about the care her late husband received while he was in hospital last year.
She will advise Mr Cameron after the findings of an inquiry into failings at Stafford Hospital in Staffordshire.
The Cynon Valley MP was appointed alongside South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Tricia Hart.
Mr Cameron announced their appointment in a statement to the House of Commons, and was speaking after the public inquiry into Stafford Hospital where years of abuse and neglect led to the death of hundreds of patients.
Ms Clwyd's review will consider how issues raised by patients and their families are listened to and acted upon.
It will focus on English hospitals, although she hopes some of the proposals put forward will be taken on by Wales as well.
She said: "I welcome the opportunity to play an active role to help find a solution to one of the long list of problems we now have with healthcare in so many of our hospitals.
"I am determined that the result of this review will be a system that ensures that any complaint that patients or whistleblowers make will be listened to, and acted upon."
Last year Ms Clwyd said her husband Owen Roberts died "like a battery hen" at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
She has previously tackled the prime minister at question time in the Commons about how he would respond to complaints about nurses who failed to show care and compassion to patients.
Ms Clwyd said that since speaking out she had received hundreds of letters from people who had experienced poor standards of care in hospital.
She said she had been "amazed" by some of the "harrowing experiences", such as patients being deprived of water and being covered in faeces.
"I'm afraid it's all too common and that's what we have to stamp out," she added.
She has also met healthcare organisations and patient groups to discuss possible solutions.
The inquiry's chairman, Robert Francis QC, said the failings went right to the top of the health service.
He said that "complacency in the system has meant that all too often patient complaints have been ignored".
Mr Cameron said: "I have talked today about some of the systemic failures. But at the heart of any system is the people who work in it and the values they hold."
The prime minister told MPs he was "truly sorry" for what happened and that the UK government needed to "purge" a culture of complacency.
Ms Clwyd's appointment was welcomed by Wales Office minister Stephen Crabb, who said she had huge cross-party respect.
The Welsh government said it would look at the Francis report in detail to make sure the failings in Stafford were not repeated in Wales.
Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said: "I believe in Wales we have robust systems in place to ensure quality and safety are at the heart of NHS care.
"A recent survey showed 92% of people here are satisfied with that care, however, we are not complacent.
"We are striving for excellence and will examine the Francis report in detail to see what can be learnt to ensure the systemic failures of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust are never part of the culture of the NHS here in Wales."