POLITICAL parties have accused Labour of "failing" hospital patients in North Wales over continued issues at Bodelwyddan's Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

It comes as an unannounced inspection of the hospital identified ongoing "patient safety concerns".

An inspection of its A&E service back in March had found a number of such concerns, with vulnerable and severely ill patients left unchecked for hours at a time, and vital risk assessments missed.

A report published by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) on Monday gave detail of areas in which the responsible health board, Betsi Cadwaladr, had still yet to make improvements by the time of a surprise inspection in May, the body says.

“Once again, the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay is failing the people of north Wales,"  Darren Millar MS, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, said.

“It will be deeply alarming to people across the region that the situation at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd still isn't getting things right, despite being put into targeted intervention – Labour ministers need to step up and take responsibility for their failings."

Betsi Cadwaladr is under "targeted intervention" for improvements - the second highest level of Welsh Government intervention.


In a damning report following inspections of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in March, HIW noted that poor record-keeping had led to the hospital losing track of where an A&E patient potentially requiring surgery was located, with the patient ultimately deteriorating and passing away.

In another, a child who had attempted suicide was able to leave A&E, with their absence unnoticed by staff for several hours.

Patients in the department faced excessive delays for care, and the condition of even highly vulnerable patients was often inconsistently monitored.

"We saw that in some cases the absence of risk assessment and associated mitigations had potentially led to patients suffering harm," the inspectors wrote in their report.

"In one case a patient attended with a cerebral bleed following a fall.

"Despite this, no falls risk assessment was completed.

"The patient suffered two falls and sustained further injuries while in the department.

"In another case, a patient presented with seizures - despite this, there were no risk assessments present for any risks, including bed rails and falls.

"The patient was subsequently found on the floor following a seizure, and sustained further injuries."

Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board was taken out of "special measures" - the highest level of oversight - in late 2020, having been under government control since 2015.

The move was seen as premature by some, with Plaid Cymru arguing that at least parts of the northern health service should be taken back into special measures.

Conservative Darren Millar MS agreed: "It is becoming ever more evident that Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board was only taken out of special measures ahead of the Senedd Elections for purely political reasons. 

“It is unbelievable that Labour are focusing their efforts on expanding the Senedd rather than address the issues facing the NHS, especially in North Wales.”

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru has also responded to the damning report by HIW on services at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, said: “Another week, another damning report, and more concerns for patients safety. When will this end?

“This report again speaks of patients being put at risk and staff ‘working above and beyond in challenging conditions’. I have little faith in Welsh Government’s ‘targeted interventions’, and once again I call on the Health Minister to look at how starting again with new health structures in the north could provide the fresh start patients and staff need.

“It’s not because I particularly want a health reorganisation but that I think we have little choice.”

Responding to the news from inspectors that said there was a "clear and significant risk to patient safety" in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “This the latest in a number of alarming reports regarding Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board. It is abundantly clear that the board was taken out of special measures before it was appropriate to do so.

“Patients and staff must now get the reassurances needed from Labour that things are going to change. The Welsh Government must work with the health board to take significant action immediately.”

What the Welsh Government has said

In response, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are extremely concerned and disappointed in the contents of this report. This standard of care falls considerably short of what we expect for patients in Wales.

“We took immediate action in June by escalating this service to Targeted Intervention status and commenced an improvement intervention to make immediate changes to ensure that the service is safe.

“We are assured by the health board that many of these actions have now been implemented and that it is safe for people to continue attending the emergency department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. It must be remembered that the majority of patients who attend this emergency department receive good, safe care.”