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Report reveals “concerning” findings for stroke patients in Wales

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Staff at an A&E department in Wales were “working above and beyond in challenging conditions” during a period of “unrelenting demand”, a report has found.

The report, published by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), found that the department in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Denbighshire required significant improvement after an unannounced three-day inspection in May.

According to the health watchdog some people said they would rather go to England if they had a stroke than use the A&E at a north Wales hospital.

The report found:

  • Doctors were left to “come across” high-risk patients instead of being alerted to them
  • Patients were not monitored enough – including a suspected stroke patient and one considered a suicide risk
  • Used underwear was discover among dirty equipment found in cupboards
  • Cupboards containing prescription only medicines, scalpels and needles were left unlocked
  • Children were at serious risk of harm as the public could enter the paediatric area unchallenged
  • An adult patient was in the paediatric area when a child was receiving care there
  • Inspectors found evidence of children leaving unseen or being discharged against medical advice

Inspectors said many staff were unhappy and were struggling to cope. They said they did not feel supported by senior managers.

HIW said it was concerned management was unaware of “very serious issues” it found, highlighting that there was a “clear and significant risk to patient safety”.

The Welsh government told the BBC the report was “extremely concerning”, adding the “standard of care falls considerably short of what we expect for patients in Wales”.

Officials said improvements had been made and it was safe for people to attend A&E.

Almost 70,000 stroke survivors currently live in Wales, and an estimated 7,400 people experience a stroke each year.

HIWIN

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