The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has questioned whether Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board have learned any lessons from the Professor Andrews report into irregularities in Princess of Wales and Neath Port Talbot Hospitals after spot checks revealed that issues highlighted by the report are still a problem.
One of the key issues identified in the two hospitals by the Andrews report was the failure to properly administer medicines to patients. This is supposedly being addressed as part of ABMU’s action plan however, the spot checks reveal that there are still issues around the medication in both hospitals.
In Neath Port Talbot Hospital, all of the eight improvements identified by the spot chceks related to medication and included: ensuring nurses know that they need to sign for drugs that they give out regularly; a review of medication charts to make sure that they are completed, providing a lock for the medicines storage room; and reminding staff of their professional standards for medicines management.
In Princess of Wales Hospital, four wards were inspected, and 11 improvements identified, again mainly around the management of medication including: improving the administration, management and security of medicines across wards; ensuring all staff are updated on professional standards for medicines management; ensuring timely completion of documentation; ensuring staff undertake an all-Wales medication and drug chart e-learning package (raised as an issue for improvement on three out of the four wards); and on one ward, providing acute medicine/gastroenterology care, the concerns about medication administration and storage. The potential impact on patient safety and care were sufficiently serious for these matters to be raised immediately with the on-call executive
Commenting on the latest checks, Peter Black said that he is not convinced that lessons are being learnt from the Andrews report and the crisis in patient care that led to that report being commissioned:
“Assembly Members have been constantly assured by the health board and by the Minister that action plans have been put in place, management arrangements have been changed and lessons are being learned and acted on. However, these spot checks show that five months later, problems identified by Andrews still persist in these hospitals.
“Patients and their families need to be assured that they will get the best possible care in hospital. Yet despite the Andrews report it seems that weaknesses in procedure remain and that problems with medicine management remains. That is not good enough.”