Ann Clwyd MP's campaign for compassion in nursing

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Media caption,

Ann Clwyd MP: "There are some good nurses but there are also some very bad nurses"

An MP who said her late husband died "like a battery hen" in hospital says she will start a campaign for greater compassion and care in nursing.

Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, has criticised the "indifference and contempt" of some nurses who treated her late husband at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

She said she had received an "amazing response" since speaking out.

Mrs Clwyd will now meet campaign groups to see how best to raise standards.

When asked by Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning BBC TV programme if she would be starting a new campaign for more compassion in hospitals, she said: "Yes is the short answer.

"I've had hundreds and hundreds of emails from people from all over the country and the theme is the same.

"There are some good nurses, but there are also some very bad nurses and people have talked about their own experiences."

Mrs Clwyd, 75, broke down last week on BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme while explaining the treatment her husband Owen Roberts had received.

She claimed he had "hospital-induced pneumonia" and nurses did not keep him warm or care for him.

Mrs Clwyd's husband, a former head of news and current affairs for BBC Cymru Wales and an ITV executive, had been treated for multiple sclerosis before his death in October.

She described how, hours before he died, he complained that he was cold and wanted to go home.

She said he did not have any clothes over him and was half covered by "two very thin inadequate sheets".

Questioning the Prime Minister David Cameron in the Commons on Wednesday, she said she was committed to an NHS free at the point of use but said there were increasing complaints about nursing in parts of the system.

She told The Andrew Marr Show that one of the emails she had received said "the nursing profession is no longer the caring profession" while another said "since they made nursing a degree course the wrong kind of people are entering the profession... we do not need a load of snooty-nosed pen pushers".

Image caption,
Owen Roberts had been treated for multiple sclerosis

Mrs Clwyd said she intended to meet patient bodies and campaigning groups to see how the issues raised could be addressed.

"Obviously there are people who have been doing some work on this over a long period of time and I hope to get together next week, this week, some of the organisations that have been campaigning to see how I can take it forward from there, because the kind of response I've had from people all over the country, and from other countries as well, is amazing," she said.

"They are not just one-paragraph letters, they are substantial, many of them documenting their own experience."

The University Hospital of Wales said last week that it acknowledged the seriousness of the concerns raised by Mrs Clwyd.

Ruth Walker, executive nurse director, had said: "As a health board, we recognise that we don't get things right all of the time, but we are always saddened to hear of examples of poor standards of care, which cause so much distress to patients and their relatives.

"We will not tolerate poor care, which is why it is so important that each incident is fully investigated, so that we can drive up standards and provide patients and their families with the quality of care they need and deserve."

The Welsh government has said it recognised that more work needed to be done to ensure that all patients receive high quality care.

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