AN independent investigation into how Gwent Police dealt with a man who suffered a severe head injury before being taken into custody has been published.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report concludes that Gwent Police’s custody policy was contravened during the incident in September 2012 when information was not passed on to the custody sergeant about the man's head injury.
It also states that a police sergeant's performance was "unsatisfactory" as he failed to follow the custody manual and did not call for a medical professional to examine the man.
It adds that there was a "lack of adequate communication between NHS and police services" but does state that the force's response to the initial incident and the man's arrest was "appropriate".
The report deals with an incident that took place on Blackwood Road, in Pontllanfraith, on Saturday September 22, 2012.
The man, who was found drunk in the street, was taken to hospital following a 999 call.
A few hours later, Gwent Police were called to remove the man from hospital due to his behaviour.
He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and detained at Ystrad Mynach police station.
But concerns were later raised about the man and he was taken back to hospital with fractures to the back of his skull and bleeding to his brain.
The report states that the man has made a recovery "of sorts" but was in hospital for two-and-a-half months after the incident.
A Gwent Police spokeswoman said: "We welcome the IPCC report into this incident and we have learned lessons as an organisation. We are encouraged that the IPCC found many aspects of this incident were dealt with positively and recognised that officers were in a difficult position with limited options when called to the hospital.
“The report makes it clear that there were some aspects that could have been better dealt with, largely around communication within the custody process.
"We have implemented all recommendations from the report, a documentation sharing protocol has now been implemented between ourselves and the NHS, regular training on dealing with head injuries is in place for all officers and is now part of a training programme specifically for custody sergeants. The sergeant in question has received management action."