GWENT’S health board does not believe there are systemic failings present in the way four key areas of patient care - currently under scrutiny across Wales - are delivered in the area’s hospitals.

But it has informed health minister Mark Drakeford that it has “vigorous improvement plans” in place to tackle areas of concern, and recognises that “continuous work is required” to make sure reliable and consistent care is provided all the time.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, along with Wales’ other health boards, has written to Professor Drakeford to inform him of its actions in response to the recommendations of the Trusted To Care report, on the findings of an independent review into the way elderly patients were looked after at two hospitals - Princess of Wales, in Bridgend, and Neath Port Talbot - run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. That report highlighted serious shortcomings, particularly in terms of the administration of medication, continence care, nutrition and hydration, and care of people with dementia.

Professor Drakeford said health boards would have until mid-June to absorb its findings and recommendations, and to start to take action to address any of the issues raised that may be pertinent to them, before the beginning of a series of Wales-wide unannounced spot checks at acute hospitals. He said these spot checks, which are focusing on the delivery of medication, hydration, night-time sedation and continence care, are under way.