Welsh Conservative comment on “devastating” health board report
A report by the Royal College of Physicians has uncovered “frightening experiences” for staff in Gwent hospitals, where some trainee doctors and consultants are “scared to come to work”.
The report looking at Aneurin Bevan health board has further fuelled concerns about the Labour Government’s long record of NHS mismanagement in Wales, especially its decision to centralise health services in its flagship hospital, The Grange, in Cwmbran.
The hospital is regularly in the news for its poor performance in emergency care, a factor attributed to it being opened too early. It currently has the worst A&E waiting times of all hospitals in Wales, with only 41% of patients in August seen within the four-hour target.
Doctors had expressed “huge concerns” for patient safety about the Grange Hospital being opened four months early last year as it would mean it was understaffed. Concerns have also been expressed about capacity being too low to deal with demand from across South East Wales.
When he announced the date of opening, the previous Health Minister, Vaughan Gething MS, said it was a “great pleasure…to announce the Grange will open ahead of schedule” saying it would “provide more capacity and resilience” in the Welsh NHS.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS:
“Chronic Labour mismanagement has created an unhealthy workplace in our NHS, leading to staff burnout and sickness resulting in dangerously understaffed departments. That is completely unacceptable, especially in light of earlier warnings.
“For staff to feel frightened of working in Labour’s flagship hospital demonstrates a devastating failure on a planning, governance, and pastoral level.
“In the words of doctors on the frontline, the Grange hospital in Cwmbran is causing very serious patient safety concerns and this could have devastating consequences for people’s lives.
“The hospital is also the worst in Wales for A&E waits and Labour ministers must answer for their reckless decisions to centralise services in Gwent when they were warned by staff the results would be poor for patients.
“I hope the Senedd’s Presiding Officer believes this is worthy of the urgent question I have tabled as the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay must be held accountable, despite its recent attempts to dodge scrutiny.”