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Found 81 results
  1. News Article
    A patient in north Wales suffered "catastrophic" consequences when staff didn't connect their oxygen supply correctly. The Betsi Cadwaladr health board, which was caring for the patient at the time, is investigating and says it was one of a small number of recent similar incidents. But it refused to say whether the patient died, or to explain what the “catastrophic” consequences were. It says it is working to improve staff training to avoid similar incidents happening again. On Tuesday, Wales' health minister Eluned Morgan said the health board still had "a lot to do," before it could be taken out of special measures. A report to the committee said: “Further patient safety incidents have occurred in the health board related to the preparation and administration of oxygen using portable cylinders. “On review, the cylinder had not been prepared correctly, resulting in no flow of oxygen to the patient. “One incident had a catastrophic outcome and is under investigation.” Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 February 2024
  2. News Article
    The Welsh Ambulance Service is struggling to cope as many A&E departments are full and some patients have reportedly been waiting to be offloaded from ambulances for as long as 15 hours. The service has issued a plea for the public to "use 999 responsibly" amid severe pressure. An employee of the service said: "Nearly every A&E department is at capacity. Patients have been on ambulances for the last 15 hours. The ambulance service is only responding to red [immediately life-threatening] calls." The service has received almost 13,000 calls to 999 since Boxing Day and there have been almost 36,000 calls to the NHS 111 Wales service. Lee Brooks, the ambulance service’s operations boss, said: “Pent-up demand from the Christmas and New Year period, coupled with the seasonal illnesses we see at this time of year, means there are lots of people across Wales trying to access health services currently. When hospitals are at full capacity, it means ambulances can’t admit their patients, and while they’re tied up at emergency departments, other patients in the community are waiting a long time for our help, especially if their condition isn’t life-threatening. “We’re working really hard as a system to deliver the best possible care to patients, but our ask of the public today – and in the coming days – is only to call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured, or where there is an immediate threat to someone’s life. That’s people who’ve stopped breathing, people with chest pain or breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, choking, severe allergic reactions, catastrophic bleeding or someone who is having a stroke." Read full story Source: Wales Online, 3 January 2024
  3. Content Article
    Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) is the independent inspectorate of the NHS and regulator of independent healthcare in Wales. The findings of their Annual report outline the sustained pressure on healthcare services across Wales, highlighting risks relating to emergency care, staffing concerns, poor patient flow and the accessibility of appointments. It sets out how the HIW carried out their functions across Wales, seeking assurance on the quality and safety of healthcare through a range of activities. This includes inspections and review work in the NHS, and regulatory assurance work in the independent healthcare sector. The report provides a summary of what HW's work has found, the main challenges within healthcare across Wales, and HIW's view on areas of national and local concern.
  4. Content Article
    This report published by the National Vascular Registry (NVR) contains information on emergency (non-elective) and elective procedures for the following patient groups: patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who undergo either (a) lower limb angioplasty/stent, (b) lower limb bypass surgery, or (c) lower limb amputation patients who have a repair procedure for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients who undergo carotid endarterectomy or carotid stenting.
  5. News Article
    A patient was left with permanent sight loss after a hospital failed to spot the signs of a blood vessel blockage for several months. The person referred to only as Mr L, visited the emergency department at one of Wales' hospitals in January, 2018, but medics failed to consider the possibility he had suffered a watershed stroke. Details of how it took nine months before Mr L was offered a scan to consider this diagnosis have been described in a report from the Public Service Ombudsman detailing the care under Betsi Cadwaldr University Health Board. The Ombudsman, Michelle Morris, also slammed the health board for its failure to act promptly with the complaints process. She said she "cannot fail to be shocked by the fact that, although Mr L first complained to the health board in June, 2019, it took until February, 2023 for it to recognise any failings." The report details how between January and September, 2018, the health board failed to promptly and appropriately identify, investigate and treat a blockage of blood vessels in his neck (a condition called carotid artery stenosis, where the blockage restricts the blood flow to the middle of the brain, face and head). Mr L also complained that when the issue was eventually identified in September, there was a delay in getting the treatment (surgery) until November. Read full story Source: Wales Online, 2 November 2023
  6. News Article
    The true picture of A&E waiting times in Wales has been seriously under-reported for a decade, the BBC can reveal. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) has established thousands of hours are missed from monthly figures. Senior A&E doctors have been raising the issue for months. The Welsh government said it would ask health boards for assurances they were following the guidance "to ensure the data is absolutely transparent". The RCEM said it could not measure "how bad" things were because thousands of patients subject to so-called "breach exemptions" were not included in the overall A&E waiting times. The Welsh government initially disputed the RCEM's claim, but after seeing detailed figures - which were obtained through freedom of information (FOI) requests to health boards - it changed its position. Wales' health minister has repeatedly claimed A&E waiting times in Wales have "bettered English performance". But once the missing data is taken into account, it suggests the performance in Wales is worse. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 October 2023
  7. News Article
    An ambulance spent 28 hours outside a hospital after an "extraordinary incident" was declared due to delays. The Welsh Ambulance Service said 16 ambulances had waited outside the emergency department at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, at one time. It said multiple sites across Wales were affected, "specifically" in the Swansea Bay health board area. Lee Brooks, director of operations, told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast the situation was "heart-breaking". The service said people should only call 999 if their emergency was "life or limb threatening". Judith Bryce, assistant director of operations at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said on Sunday the service was experiencing "patient handover delays outside of emergency departments. This is taking its toll on our ability to respond within the community." Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 October 2023
  8. News Article
    Senior doctors say female medics have felt pressured into sexual activity with colleagues. Four women who head up medical royal colleges in Wales have written an open letter describing misogyny, bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace. They told BBC Wales that female staff had been asked for sex by male colleagues while on shift. The Welsh government said: "Harassment and sexual violence is abhorrent and has no place in our NHS." Chairwoman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, Dr Maria Atkins, said: "I've heard from multiple women over the years that during night-time shifts, they've been propositioned by male colleagues and felt pressured to engage in sexual acts. "When they've refused they are penalised. "It can be very damaging to some less experienced or younger women, because they will be discouraged from engaging with a team, which might have been the specialty of medicine that they wanted to progress their career in." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 September 2023
  9. Content Article
    A report has been published by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) setting out the findings of a review of patient flow in Wales. Patient flow is the movement of patients through a healthcare system from the point of admission to the point of discharge. HIW specifically examined the journey of patients through the stroke pathway. This was to understand what is being done to mitigate any harm to those awaiting care, as well as to understand how the quality and safety of care is being maintained throughout the stroke pathway.
  10. News Article
    A mum suffered a perforated bowel and sepsis after being told she was anxious and should take constipation medication and drink peppermint tea. Farrah Moseley-Brown was in "agonising pain" after having her second son, Clay, but the hospital sent her home. Because of the delay in treating her, Ms Moseley-Brown, 28, of Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, now has a stoma. Cardiff and Vale health board admitted failures in her care and gave its "sincere apologies". Since the error, Ms Moseley-Brown has turned to TikTok to inform people about the dangers of sepsis and has had 15 million views one one video alone. She was booked into University Hospital Wales, Cardiff, for a Caesarean on 7 May 2020. After Clay was born, Ms Moseley-Brown lost about two-and-a-half pints of blood and needed further surgery to stem the bleeding. "I felt really unwell and I said this to the nurses and the staff at the hospital which they didn't listen to. They kept saying it was after-pain but it was just agonising," Ms Moseley-Brown said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 25 August 2023
  11. Content Article
    This report by the National Audit of Dementia (NAD) presents the results of the fifth round of audit data. For the first time, the audit has been undertaken prospectively, which will enable hospitals to take earlier action to improve patient care and experience. However, this has demonstrated that many hospitals still have no ready mechanism to identify people with dementia once admitted. One notable improvement is delirium screening (dementia is the biggest risk factor for developing delirium). Screening for delirium has improved from 58% in round 4 to 87% in the current audit. In addition, a high number of pain assessments are also being undertaken within 24 hours of admission (85%). Although encouraging, the report highlights that 61% of these assessments were based only on a question about pain—an approach that can be unreliable in patients with dementia. While this report acknowledges that our health services have experienced an extraordinarily difficult and challenging time, it does shine a light on a need for more training. It states that is encouraging that many staff have received Tier 1 dementia training (median 86%), but suggests that a much higher proportion of ward-based patient facing staff should have received Tier 2 dementia training (median 45%). It found that only 58% of hospitals are able to report the proportion of staff who have received training. As such, the report recommends that any member of staff involved in the direct care of people with dementia should have Tier 2 training, and this training should be recorded to provide assurance to the public and regulators.
  12. News Article
    At-home smear tests should be introduced in Wales, campaigners say. Love Your Period campaigners said self-sampling at home would encourage more people to have the tests. For women aged 25 to 64 a smear test is an effective way of detecting human papillomavirus (HPV) and preventing cervical cancer. According to Public Health Wales data, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, with regular screening helping to reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer by 70%. The Welsh government said it followed advice from the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC), which is yet to make a recommendation on self-sampling. However, it said Public Health Wales (PHW) was considering how the tests could be implemented in Wales. Currently, women in Wales are invited for a screening to check for the presence of high-risk HPV every five years. Campaigner Jess Moultrie said tests should be made available to those who have experienced trauma and find the process of in-hospital smears triggering. "Being able to do it at home gives you that power, you can be a little bit more relaxed, it's not as intimidating." Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 August 2023
  13. News Article
    More families have been told by a health board that their relatives' deaths may have been linked to treatment by vascular services. Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has written to families who were part of a review after concerns were raised last year. Four cases had already been reported to a coroner and the health board says it has been "very open" with relatives of other patients. The service has recently been described by inspectors as making "satisfactory progress", but the health board admit it is still on a "long journey". A report by the Royal College of Surgeons England (RCSE) in January 2022 found risks to patient safety due, in part, to poor record keeping. It recommended to the health board that it investigate fully what happened to the 47 patients its report focused on. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 July 2023
  14. Content Article
    The Digital Medicines Transformation Portfolio aims to use digital technologies to make prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines everywhere in Wales, easier, safer and more efficient for patients and professionals. It brings together the programmes and projects that will deliver a fully digital prescribing approach in all care settings in Wales. This video outlines the different elements of the portfolio that will be introduced across primary and secondary care, including the Shared Medicines Record, which will store information about a patient's medications all in one place.
  15. News Article
    The Welsh Government is facing criticism after refusing to appoint an independent Patient Safety Commissioner – a role established in England last year and currently being legislated for in Scotland. The moves in England and Scotland follow publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review in 2020, which investigated a series of scandals where patients suffered because of negligence and inaction. The review recommended the establishment of a Patient Safety Commissioner in England, and last September Dr Henrietta Hughes became the first such commissioner. The Scottish Parliament is currently legislating to introduce a Patient Safety Commissioner. A Welsh Government spokesman said: “The situation here is different to the other devolved nations. We’ve recently introduced our own legislation and other measures to improve patient safety. “We strengthened the powers of the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales to undertake their own investigations and introduced new duties of quality, including safety, and candour for NHS bodies. We have created [the body] Llais to give a stronger voice to people in all parts of Wales on their health and social care services. It has a specific remit to consider patient safety and has the power to make representations to NHS bodies and local authorities and undertake work on a nationwide basis. “Our view is that introducing a Patient Safety Commissioner in Wales at this time would create considerable complexity and confusion. Also one of the main roles of the proposed commissioner is in relation to medicines and medical devices, which are not devolved to Wales.” Read full story Source: Nation Cymru, 6 July 2023
  16. Content Article
    This report by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) relates to vascular services provided by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board following the de-escalation of these services as a Service Requiring Significant Improvement (SRSI). The review outlines that while progress has been made against all nine recommendations made by the Royal College of Surgeons, the health board still has improvements to make.
  17. Content Article
    Wales has a long history and tradition of upholding universal policies, welfare, sustainability and rights-based approaches to population wellbeing. However, the trends in reducing the health gap are mixed, the rate of improvement is slower than anticipated, and new groups are emerging with disproportionately higher risk of poor health and premature death and disease.  The Welsh Health Equity Solutions Platform has been designed as a resource to find data and solutions relating to health equity. It includes an interactive data dashboard, policy and healthy equity frameworks and international case studies. It aims to support and accelerate healthy prosperous lives for all in Wales.
  18. News Article
    It may take seven years to get NHS Wales waiting lists of 700,000 back to 2020 levels, Wales' auditor general has said. The number of patients waiting for non-urgent treatment has doubled since February 2020, just prior to the Covid pandemic. They include Patient Michael Assender, 74, who has spent two years on a waiting list with severe back pain. After struggling with his back, Mr Assender, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, paid £1,500 for a private scan, which revealed he had two slipped discs. "At the moment I'm coping pretty well, taking pills for the pain and trying to stay active," he said. "But something that took me half hour before now takes an hour." Mr Assender said he knew others waiting for surgery who had become depressed and considered taking their lives, adding: "A lot of people out there are in a constant pain and I do pity them." "It's a dire situation really." The Welsh government said it had a plan to deal with backlogs. But Wales' Auditor General Adrian Crompton said: "Just as the NHS rose to the challenge of the pandemic, it will need to rise to the challenge of tackling a waiting list which has grown to huge proportions." "Concerted action is going to be needed on many different fronts, and some long-standing challenges will need to be overcome." Read full story Source: BBC News, 31 May 2022
  19. News Article
    "I shouldn't have to work out my escape route when I walk into a property." Paramedic Joanna Paskell was a victim of one of the near-3,000 attacks on emergency workers in Wales last year. The patient who punched her got a 12-month community order, but it left the 45-year-old suffering with anxiety and meant she was off work for four months. "It took four security guards to calm her down so she could be treated," said Mrs Paskell, who has worked with the ambulance service for more than 25 years. She said at first she tried to laugh it off, but it was only when getting ready for her next shift, five days later, that she felt the emotional toll. "All I want to do is make a difference - that's why I joined this job. We can't do that if we're working in fear of our own safety." Last year there were 2,838 assaults against police officers, firefighters, ambulance staff, NHS workers and prison staff - a 4.9% rise. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 May 2022
  20. News Article
    "I knew I always felt different, but I didn't know I was autistic." For Rhiannon Lloyd-Williams, it would take until she was 35 to learn just why she felt different. Now research by Swansea University has found it takes on average six years longer to diagnose autism in women and girls than in males. A study of 400 participants found that 75% of boys received a diagnosis before the age of 10 - but only 50% of girls. It also found the average age of diagnosis in girls was between 10 and 12 - but between four and six for boys. Now charities in Wales are calling for greater investment into services to help better understand autism in females and speed up a diagnosis. "The parents responding to the study said there was a marked impact on the girls mental health while waiting for a diagnosis," said Steffan Davies, who carried out the research. "Girls represented in the study had a lot more pre-existing diagnosis, which suggests they are being misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and that tends to defer from the root diagnosis which tends to be autism." Autism UK said this gender gap has long been an issue and is the down to the diagnosis criteria and research used, which has been focused around young boys. "Many girls end up missing out on education, because the environment they're expected to learn in is just too overwhelming, while accessing healthcare can be difficult. Women are often not believed," said executive director Willow Holloway. Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 May 2022
  21. News Article
    GP services "will collapse in Wales and the NHS will follow" soon after unless urgent support is provided, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned. As patient levels rise, numbers of GP surgeries and doctors are falling amid inadequate resources and unsustainable workloads, BMA Cymru Wales has claimed. It has written to the Welsh government, urging more funding and staff help. The Welsh government said it was acting to cut pressure on GPs and increasing services by community pharmacists. Launching its Save Our Surgeries campaign, the BMA said the number of GP practices in Wales had decreased by 18% in the past decade from 470 to 386. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 June 2023
  22. News Article
    A national robotic-assisted surgery programme allowing surgeons to perform complex procedures with more precision and control is being introduced in Wales, the Health Minister has announced. The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Network, developed by health boards, the Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Moondance Cancer Initiative, will provide less invasive surgery for thousands of cancer patients across the country. The surgery involves the use of highly advanced robotic surgical instruments under the control of a surgeon. It will initially be used in Wales for some Colorectal, Upper Gastrointestinal, Urological and Gynaecological cancers. The Welsh Government will support the network with funding of £4.2m over five years, alongside £13.35m provided by health boards over 10 years. Health and Social Services Minister Eluned Morgan said: "The All-Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Network is an ambitious and important programme helping to improve outcomes for patients and the NHS in Wales. It will put Wales at the forefront of international research for the use of robotic surgical techniques. This pioneering service will also encourage specialist staff to come to Wales to train and practice". It will initially be provided in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area, with the first patient expected to receive treatment in June. Once fully established, patients in north Wales will no longer need to travel to England to receive robotic-assisted surgery. Read full story Source: Welsh Government, 14 March 2022
  23. News Article
    Nearly 700 doctors are likely to leave the Welsh NHS as a result of a recent 4.5% pay rise, the British Medical Association has warned. The warning follows a survey by BMA Cymru, in which more than half of the 1,397 respondents said they could leave and most felt morale had dropped. The below-inflation pay rise will apply to consultants, junior doctors and GPs. The Welsh government said it accepted the NHS pay review body's advice and was limited on how far it could go. Dr Iona Collins, chairwoman of the BMA's Welsh Council, said the findings resonated with what she was hearing from colleagues across Wales. "Doctors' take-home pay has reduced over several years, making the NHS an increasingly unattractive employer," said Dr Collins. Read full story Source: BBC News (23 August 2022)
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