North East Wales

Family 'suffered' over patient's care care at Tawel Fan ward

Tawel Fan patient John Martindale, 84 Image copyright John Stewart
Image caption John Martindale, 84, died from pneumonia days after being transferred to another unit

The son-in-law of an elderly patient said his family have "suffered" knowing the treatment he received at a Denbighshire mental health ward.

John Martindale, 84, was a patient at Glan Clwyd Hospital's Tawel Fan ward, now at the centre of a damning report.

John Stewart said it has been "distressing" to look back at his father-in-law's care there.

Mr Martindale, who had dementia, died in October 2013, days after being transferred to another unit.

"It's very distressing looking back on it. Looking back now, I think it was probably a mistake keeping him there," Mr Stewart, from Colwyn Bay, said.

His father-in-law was admitted to Tawel Fan in August 2013.

'Uncleanliness endemic'

Mr Stewart described seeing urine on the floor, staff arranging furniture so patients could not get out of their chairs, and relatives persuading staff to tend to patients.

The 50-year-old said patient uncleanliness was "endemic" and that his father-in-law was often left to dress himself.

"The fear is that if you speak out and cause too much of a problem you don't know what happens the moment that you leave," Mr Stewart said.

"That's what goes through the back of your mind."

He has now called for the staff responsible to be banned from working in the health service.

"From what I have seen, the whole health board seems dysfunctional from top to bottom," he added.

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