Nursing standards to be reviewed at Princess of Wales Hospital

Lilian Williams
Image caption The family of Lilian Williams have criticised the care she received

Nursing standards will be reviewed at two hospitals after the death of a patient.

An independent review will scrutinise the care offered by staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital.

It follows the death of patient Lilian Williams, 82, from Porthcawl, who, her family say, was neglected.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board said it would implement the recommendations from the review.

The review of the health board was pledged by Wales' health minister in October after the serious neglect of Mrs Williams.

Mrs Williams was admitted to Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, and Neath Port Talbot Hospital four times from August 2010 to November 2012, when she died.

Her family said she was left dehydrated and she failed to receive adequate care while at hospital.

The review will be led by Prof June Andrews, director of dementia services development centre at University of Stirling.

Image caption Lilian Williams died at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend in 2012

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: "The health board is already taking a range of actions to ensure the delivery of safe and high quality care to patients at the Princess of Wales Hospital.

"Progress is being monitored by the chief medical officer and the chief nursing officer. As a part of these actions an external quality and safety review has been commissioned by the health board.

"However, I felt there was also a need for an additional independent review focusing on the care of older patients at two hospitals, following a meeting with a family who described their experiences in relation to the care of their elderly relative.

"The independent external review will consider the care provided at the Princess of Wales Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital and will be in addition to the review already commissioned by the health board."

ABMU health board spokeswoman said it was "pleased" Mr Drakeford recognised improvements made by the board.

"As a board we have taken the concerns about care at the Princess of Wales Hospital very seriously," the spokeswoman said.

"We have discussed these issues in public at board meetings over the last few months and we have set up a focused Quality and Safety Programme at the Princess of Wales Hospital which is beginning to deliver results.

"As a board we have shown ourselves to be open and to deal with concerns when they are raised.

"The health board will provide Professor Andrews and her colleagues with all the support necessary to carry out their work and look forward to working with her and her team to implement the recommendations from the review."

Shadow health minister Darren Millar welcomed the review "whole-heartedly" but added: "Allegations of poor standards of care within this health board require thorough investigation - but such evidence is not confined to this area alone.

"In the interests of Wales and Welsh patients, we urgently need a robust Wales-wide inquiry into standards of patient care and high death rates.

"Failings must be identified and put right, both to prevent another Mid Staffs scandal and put measures in place to safeguard communities."

Care failings

In October, Mrs Williams's family spoke to BBC Wales about her experience at hospital.

They said when was initially taken into hospital, they complained to the health board about the way she had been treated at hospital claiming she had been left nil by mouth for several days leading to dehydration.

An inquiry was ordered which did not happen.

Two years later, Mrs Williams was readmitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital where she died.

Concerns about how the hospital treated her were again raised and a review did take place with the health board admitting that she had been unnecessarily sedated and medication was not administered.

In July, the health board apologised for the "unacceptable care" some patients had received and BBC Wales reported how calls for inquiry were being made after Mrs Williams's death.

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