Wales

Glan Clwyd Hospital told to improve orthopaedic care by coroner

Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan
Image caption Megan Lloyd-Williams died after surgery at Glan Clwyd Hospital

A coroner has given a health board until the end of the year to make improvements to its orthopaedic care following the death of an patient.

Megan Lloyd-Williams, 77, from Flintshire, died on 9 September at Glan Clwyd Hospital from complications after breaking her hip.

An expert told her inquest he first raised concerns in 2016 but nothing had changed since.

Betsi Cadwaladr health board said it aimed to recruit new staff.

At Wednesday's hearing, coroner John Gittins was deciding whether to issue a Regulation 28 prevention of future deaths order.

He recorded a conclusion of accidental death on 8 May at the inquest of Mrs Lloyd-Williams but was concerned by the evidence heard.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Ian Smith told the inquest that orthogeriatric services at Glan Clwyd Hospital were "not as they should be".

"We are just not providing the service at the moment," he said.

'Opportunity for change'

Mrs Lloyd-Williams was first admitted to hospital on 23 August after breaking her hip in a fall at her home in Northop.

She underwent surgery, which was successful, but within days complained of severe stomach pains.

A scan carried out on 2 September revealed a perforated duodenum and although she underwent further emergency surgery, she died of peritonitis.

Her husband Roy said the family's concern was that the perforation should have been diagnosed sooner, but his wife was not seen by any medic other than an orthopaedic doctor for nine days.

Deborah Carter, from the health board, told Wednesday's hearing that funding had now been approved for the appointment of an orthogeriatric specialist who should be in place by November.

Mr Gittins said he did not believe that a Regulation 28 order would achieve anything, but asked to be notified by the end of the year what progress had been made.

"The gap very much needs filling," he said.

"This is an opportunity and it must be addressed as an opportunity for change."

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