Deeside: probe into patient care uncovers significant failings


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

AN investigation into complaints involving a Flintshire hospital found “significant failings” in the care provided to two patients.

The inquiry into historic incidents at Deeside Community Hospital was announced in August last year when some members of staff were withdrawn from care duties.

North Wales Police, the Health Care Inspectorate Wales and county council’s social services department were all involved in the investigation.

In a report to todays meeting of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the director of nursing and midwifery Angela Hopkins, who chaired the review panel, says: “During the review significant failings relating to the care provided to both patients were identified.”

The panel was assured that safety measures had been improved and that Matron Diane Rimmer was now in overall charge of the site.

An experienced charge nurse has also been temporarily recruited to assist with the daily running of the hospital.

While maintenance work is being carried out on Gladstone Ward, all patients are currently on Branwen Ward, and 12 new staff have been appointed to fill “significant staffing deficits” caused by sickness.

“Since March there have been no new on-the-spot or formal concerns registered in relation to the Deeside site,” says the report.

Regular staff meetings are now being held, focussing on patient safety and satisfaction.

“The site has now implemented the majority of the recommendations contained within the serious untoward incident report and Matron Rimmer is in the process of producing an action plan for the long-term monitoring and compliance of the recommendations,” says Mrs Hopkins.

“The staff on the site are passionate about continuing to provide compassionate, patient-focused care and are eager to show the improvements that they have made and continue to make.”

l The Public Services Ombudsman is currently handling 75 complaints against the University Health Board.

A separate report to be considered by the board reveals that 58 of the cases are awaiting feedback from the Ombudsman, with the board preparing its responses to the other 17.

The Ombudsman issued two Public Interest Reports last year, one highlighting failings in respect of a Rhyl man who did not receive the attention he needed at Glan Clwyd Hospital where he died of liver failure, and the other related to poor record-keeping at both Glan Clwyd and Wrexham Maelor.

The board has recently been issued with another draft report and has accepted its recommendation, which are expected to be made public shortly.

“The corporate concerns team has reviewed the process for managing these cases and has established strong links and a good working relationship with the office of the Ombudsman,” says the report to tomorrow’s meeting.

See full story in the Leader

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