Patient care prompts inquiry call at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

Margaret Hoskins's family has received an apology after the 64 year old's care at hospitals in Swansea fell short of standards expected

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The family of a pensioner who died has demanded an inquiry into all hospitals under the control of a south Wales health board.

Grandmother Margaret Hoskins, 64, had been treated at both Singleton and Morriston hospitals in Swansea.

Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board (ABMUHB) apologised that some aspects of her care fell short.

But son-in-law, Graham Lucas, said he wanted a full review of care at the hospitals to be carried out.

'Hidden' medication

He met with health board officials on Tuesday, but they rejected his call for an inquiry, saying two external reviews were already looking at the care provided at the Princess of Wales in Bridgend and at Neath Port Talbot hospital.

Mr Lucas said: "We'd seen the nursing staff come round and dispense the medication, give it to her in a pot and just leave it by her bedside table and walking off.

Start Quote

I personally think there is plenty of external scrutiny of us in terms of what we do and how we're improving ”

End Quote Paul Roberts ABMUHB's chief executive

"The nursing staff used to approach us and say, 'Margaret is hiding her medication in her bed and she's not taking it'.

"In our eyes and in the health board's eyes the staff should've been giving it to her and supervising her, they knew it was a problem but they just failed to act upon it."

But, following the meeting with Mr Lucas, ABMUHB's chief executive Paul Roberts said: "The Welsh government scrutinise us, we've got regulators who scrutinise us, the minister has set up a review of certain elements of care, we use external advisers all of the time.

"So I personally think there is plenty of external scrutiny of us in terms of what we do and how we're improving, and the board itself is very keen to make sure that where we see there are faults with the care we're offering to patients, we put it right."

Last July, a BBC Wales investigation exposed the neglect of an another patient, Lilian Williams, at the Princess of Wales Hospital which is also under ABMUHB's control.

The 82-year-old, from Porthcawl, was admitted to the hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital four times between August 2010 and November 2012, when she died.

The ombudsman was highly critical of her care, and called the case tragic.

'We apologise'

Mrs Williams' death prompted the two external reviews, one commissioned by the Welsh government and the other by the health board.

Mr Roberts said robust procedures have since been put in place.

In a letter to the family of Margaret Hoskins, he wrote: "We accept there were some aspects of Mrs Hoskins' care which fell short of the standards expected of us, and we apologise to her family.

"Whilst the majority of care in our hospitals is excellent - ABM health board sees nearly a million patients every year just in our four main hospitals alone, and our complaints rate stands at 0.15% - we are aware there are times when this is not the case for everyone.

"All patients have the right to expect consistent, high quality care and we are doing our utmost to ensure that this is delivered on every ward and department."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "Mr Lucas is due to meet the chief nursing officer next month to discuss his concerns in person. We hope he will find the meeting constructive."

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