AN ELDERLY man from Rhyl has told of his struggles after he said he was told he can only administer oxygen to himself when at home following his discharge from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Kenneth Matthews, 79, was admitted to the Bodelwyddan hospital on March 29 with breathing problems.

After receiving treatment, including oxygen therapy, on its respiratory ward, Mr Matthews returned home on May 16.

But Mr Matthews said that he was instructed only to administer oxygen when in his own flat for at least the first eight weeks, a stance which has confused him.


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He called for more help from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, having said that communication has so far “completely failed”.

Mr Matthews said: “The staff kept changing the amount of oxygen l was having (in hospital) without checking the situation. The aim was to ‘wean me off’, but that made it impossible.

“The long stay in hospital was purely because they would not let me have oxygen.

“The reasons l was given for not having it ranged from it being the law that they could not supply it until l had quit smoking for 12 weeks – I quit smoking about two weeks before I was admitted - to it being unsafe in multi-occupancy houses.

“Some of the excuses were so unreasonable. They cannot agree on how much oxygen l should be having. Even while in hospital, communication failed.

“I can now only administer oxygen to myself at home – I asked how I can prove I haven’t smoked for 12 weeks, and they said they would send people round to do spot-checks on me, but that wouldn’t be practical, either.”

Mr Matthews, who lives only with his wife in his Rhyl flat, said he has used a mobility scooter when not at home since being discharged.

This is to help reduce the necessity for oxygen in his case when he is not at home.

He has not made a report to the health board’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Mr Matthews said: “It’s been obvious to them that I’ve been unhappy, through the questions that I’ve asked. I just want more communication; so far, it’s completely failed.

“They haven’t given a proper reason as to why I can’t have oxygen outside of my flat.”

In response, Libby Ryan-Davies, integrated health community director (central), said the health board would look at Mr Matthews’ issues in more detail, and apologised to him.

She said: "I would like to apologise to Mr Matthews, as he obviously feels his care has been below the standard we would all expect.

"We will review what has happened as well as his ongoing treatment, and Mr Matthews will be fully involved in the process.

"We would urge anyone who receives care below the standard they would expect to contact PALS in the first instance.

“The PALS team can be contacted on 03000 851234, or email at”