Kirsty Williams & Peter Black have responded to the review by Professor June Andrews & Mark Butler into care for the elderly, at the Princess of Wales Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.
The review found serious failings in a number of areas including; a disconnect between front line staff, a lack of hydration & nutrition, and a lack of suitably qualified staff.
Commenting Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
"This report is harrowing. Nobody should ever have to put up with poor levels of care. My thoughts are with the families of those who have been affected by poor care. This report will make very difficult reading for the Welsh Labour Government and the Board of ABMU. In 2011 the older peoples commissioner published a report into dignified care for older people yet this review showed a problem with even the most basic care needs like food and water.
"The report sets out a clear plan for how the Welsh Government and ABMU board can turn things around. The staff must be given the support to do the job they want and are trained to do.
"This report only looked at two hospitals. What we now consider is whether these issues are isolated to these hospitals or if these same issues are occuring in other hospitals across Wales."
Peter Black, AM for South Wales West, added:
"I am clear that overall the standard of care in ABMU hospitals is high but the report shows how overworked, ill-equipped and poorly supervised staff have let down a minority of patients, in particular the identified areas of concern that there was a disconnection between front-line staff and managers and confusion over leadership responsibilities and accountabilities and unnecessary delays to treatment and care are very worrying.
"This report will leave a large number of relatives, whose complaints date to before the three year review period, still dissatisfied and without closure. I am also worried that the Health Board, even today, is not being transparent in how it is addressing concerns. For example I found out through the media that an additional seven nurses were suspended last year, whilst the e-mail to Assembly Members containing the health board's response, password-protected the attached copy of the Andrews' report.
"I will be seeking assurances from the Minister that there will be robust monitoring and an open review of the recommendations in this report and how they will be implemented. I also want to see a further process that will look at historic complaints not covered by this report."