Glan Clwyd Hospital Emergency Department designated ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s Emergency Department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has been designated a ‘Service Requiring Significant Improvement’ by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW).
Calls have now been made for the Welsh Government to take immediate action.
On Monday 9 May 2022, in accordance with its escalation process, HIW held a service of concern meeting to discuss the Emergency Department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan at which the service was considered and consequently identified as a Service Requiring Significant Improvement.
The designation is based on an accumulation of evidence, originating in January 2022, leading to the completion of a Quality Check on 8 March 2022 and an unannounced onsite inspection that took place on 3-5 May 2022.
Several patient safety concerns were identified during this period.
During the most recent inspection (3-5 May 2022) HIW identified areas where Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s (BCUHB) actions in response to the previous Quality Check had not led to improvement.
HIW has said in a statement: “The Service Requiring Significant Improvement designation enables us to plan and deliver future activities necessary to gain assurance about the quality and safety of care in that service.”
“We will be working with the health board to ensure improvements are made in a timely manner. We will then consider whether the service can be de-escalated and removed from this process.”
Responding to the HIW report, Jo Whitehead, chief executive of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said:
“It is clear from this report, and HIW’s subsequent visit, patients received a standard of care well below what they, and we, expect. We have fallen short of those expectations and we must, and we will, do better.”
“On behalf of the health board I apologise to those patients who did not receive the care they deserve.”
“I can assure the public, senior leaders already have more robust oversight of the Emergency Department at Glan Clwyd Hospital, including different models of care which are designed to ensure earlier assessment of patients.”
“Emergency Departments are for people who are seriously ill or injured with life-threatening injuries and illnesses, which need immediate action and we encourage you to attend if you need this support. We treat hundreds of thousands of patients every year, safely.”
“We take our duty of care to patients very seriously and we are working with HIW to put things right.”
“We continue to be extremely stretched in our emergency departments across North Wales, which together with staff shortages puts a greater stress on those who are working, often having to cover extra shifts so our departments can function.”
“This situation is compounded because we are seeing more people who are very unwell on arrival at our emergency departments.”
“This is not to deflect from the findings of this report, which we accept in its entirety. It was extremely disappointing to read.”
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, Clwyd West MS Darren Millar, has called on the Welsh Government to take immediate action following today’s announcement:
He said: “Today’s news is deeply concerning, but sadly not shocking given the correspondence in my inbox in recent months.”
“It is alarming that in spite of being given the opportunity to develop an action plan and implement change, the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has been incapable of being able to demonstrate sufficient progress against several key areas of concern relating to patient safety and quality of care.”
“I find it appalling that a Health Board that was previously in special measures – under direct Welsh Government control – does not appear to have the capacity or ability to address serious concerns about patient safety quickly.”
“Patients in North Wales deserve better and with ongoing concerns over mental health services, vascular services and other aspects of care Cardiff based Ministers urgently need to get a grip of this situation and deliver the improvements we so desperately need.”
He added: “The Health Board clearly wasn’t ready for special measures to be withdrawn prior to the last Senedd elections and today’s announcement suggests that the Health Minister’s decision was purely political and not based on evidence.”
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