Mark Drakeford, Minister for Health and Social Services
The follow-up review of the 2014 Trusted to Care report, which examined care and practice at the Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals, within Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, is today being published.
Professor June Andrews and Mark Butler, who undertook the initial review of care at the two hospitals, returned to Wales to carry out the independent assessment of progress against the 14 recommendations they made in their original report.
Their follow-up report today concludes that the public can be reassured that the care of frail and older people at both Princess of Wales Hospital, in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital, has improved markedly. They also confirm Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has taken its responsibility seriously and acted with conviction. It took immediate and necessary action where needed but the review also supports the board’s decision to adopt some longer-term approaches to ensure the recommendations are embedded across the whole organisation and not just the two hospitals.
When Trusted to Care was published in May 2014, I was clear the report had to be taken as a whole. This follow-up review should be treated in the same way.
The board has been commended for its approach to date and for adopting a long term approach to radical improvement. The review has commented on the brave leadership of the board and its confident communications, highlighting its work with local communities and its staff, which have been bruised and shaken not just by the Trusted to Care revelations but also by the fallout and recriminations over the last 12 months.
Importantly, the report confirms significant progress has been achieved against the four areas of care where concerns were initially raised – hydration, medication, complaints and professional accountability.
However, Professor Andrews and Mr Butler are clear that there is still more progress to be made in some other important areas, particularly in relation to training, public engagement and improvements to ward environments. They have confidence that the remaining areas of action will be addressed; we must ensure these actions are completed.
They conclude by saying: “We have raised a number of areas where further work is needed, especially in respect of developing knowledge where it is needed or where issues remain with capital funding, level of investment, measurement and prioritisation. These should not take away from the impressive progress made to date.”
Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of NHS Wales, will set a new deadline for delivery on the outstanding matters and for monitoring progress, as recommended in the report.
This has been a difficult time for staff but the progress being reported today would not have been achieved without their hard work and commitment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for the part that they have played in securing these improvements. I echo Professor Andrews and Mr Butler who say: “There is good progress here.” They go on to say that they hope this will be “widely reported and also engaged with maturely in political discussion.” I sincerely hope this will be the case.
When Trusted to Care was published last year, I expected all NHS organisations to learn its lessons. The report of the Trusted to Care steering group, which was chaired jointly by the chief medical and chief nursing officers, is also being published today.
Learning from Trusted to Care: One Year On confirms and sets out how the four Trusted to Care recommendations for the Welsh Government have been met – for example, a national hydration campaign was launched this summer, which will be rolled out nationally from January. It also describes improvements made over the last 12 months, including building on the learning from the unannounced spot check programme in areas such as medicines management and the care environment. This has been achieved through a multi-professional effort throughout NHS Wales and again demonstrates the commitment of staff to strive to provide the very best care for people in Wales.
I would like to thank the local communities, patients and the staff at Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot hospitals for working with members of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board to implement the Trusted to Care recommendations over the course of the last year. I would also like to thank Professor Andrews, Mr Butler and their team for returning to Wales to carry out this one-year review of progress and finally Dr Ruth Hussey, Wales’ chief medical officer and Professor Jean White, Wales’ chief nursing officer, for leading the Welsh Government’s work in response to Trusted to Care.