Health board 'sorry' over care failings
10:38am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
NHS Bosses in Gwent have apologised to the family of a 80-year-old man over failings in several aspects of his care while he was a patient at Nevill Hall Hospital in autumn 2011.
The move follows an investigation by the office of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales which raised concerns over record keeping and discharge planning.
A complaint was made by the wife of a patient identified in acting Ombudsman Professor Margaret Griffiths’ report as Mr W , who was a patient at the Abergavenny hospital in September and October 2011. He died at Nevill Hall on October 7 that year.
She claimed Mr W was deaf, but this had not been noted on his records despite her having informed them. She believed that because of this, her husband was not treated in his best interests and his care was compromised.
She further claimed that she and her husband were not told of a cancer diagnosis by the hospital, and she was not satisfied with the way Aneurin Bevan Health Board communicated with her and her family, both during Mr W’s time as a patient, and while it considered her subsequent complaint.
Mrs W was not allowed in with her husband during his initial triage and he could not hear what the triage nurse was telling him – but deafness was not considered an issue because this disability was not registered, the report states.
Later, discharge planning had not been completed and there was no explicit record to state that Mr W was fit for discharge in September.
Professor Griffiths concluded that Mr W was “disadvantaged” by the health board’s failure to consider how to communicate effectively with him, and was disappointed that no account was taken of what his family told staff about his deafness.
Poor record keeping in relation to discharge planning, discussions over plans to catheterise Mr W, and falls risk screening were also highlighted.
A health board spokesman said it fully accepted the findings and has acted on the report’s five recommendations. This included making a £500 payment to Mrs W in recognition of the time and trouble taken to pursue her complaint.
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