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Medicines administration concerns.


Improvements are needed to ensure medicines are safely administered on hospital wards caring for elderly patients in Wales, according to a report drawn up after a series of spot checks.

Criticisms of elderly patient care led investigators to carry out unannounced spot checks at 20 hospitals across Wales, ordered by Health Minister, Mark Drakeford.

The investigators found aspects of medicines management in hospitals run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board which needed to be improved "in the vast majority" of the 70 wards inspected.

Other aspects of care which were studied for the report, Trusted To Care, included continence care, hydration and night-time sedation.

Spot checks were ordered after the death of Lilian Williams, 82, following alleged neglect at Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospitals

The report’s findings said: “Overall we found no systemic issues of concern about patient hydration, continence needs or the use of sedation. We did find individual areas where improvements were needed, but we also observed many examples of notable practice.

"We did however find areas for improvement with medicines management on wards throughout NHS Wales. The main issues we have found related to the safe and secure storage of medicines."

The timeline of events leading up to the report were:

November 2012 - Lilian Williams, 82, dies following three separate stays in two south Wales hospitals. Her family had raised concerns about the care she received during the three occasions she was a patient.

February 2013 - Issues of patient care raised with police by managers at the Princess of Wales in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot and an investigation is under way

June 2013 - A nurse from the Princess of Wales Hospital is arrested on suspicion of falsifying patient records.

10 July 2013 - Second nurse from the hospital is arrested.

25 July 2013 - There are calls for an inquiry following a BBC investigation into the care of Lilian Williams from Porthcawl, whose family raised concerns about her treatment during three stays at hospitals in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board hospitals, Princess of Wales in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot. Mrs Williams died during the third stay.

29 August 2013 - Third nurse arrested

31 October 2013 - Health Minister pledges a review into ABMU health board in light of Mrs Williams' case.

20 November 2013 - Mr Drakeford announces details of the review of nursing standards at Princess of Wales Hospital and Neath Port Talbot Hospital, which is to be led by Prof June Andrews.

31 January 2014 - There are calls for ABMU chief executive Paul Roberts to resign following a public meeting.

13 May 2014 - Prof Andrews' report Trusted to Care is published, listing failures in elderly patient care and making 18 recommendations for improvements.

13 May 2014 - Mr Drakeford announces spot checks will be carried out at elderly care wards in hospitals across Wales. Prof Andrews and other independent experts will be leading the checks.

19 June 2014 - Three nurses from Princess of Wales charged with wilful neglect.

1 July 2014 -     Another nurse is suspended from work.

23 July 2014 - Another nurse is suspended and the three already charged have further charges brought against them.

28 July 2014 - Three charged nurses appear in court for the first time.

7 August 2014 - Nurse Rebecca Jones, 30, from Bridgend, admits nine counts of wilful neglect.

10 September 2014 - Two more from a total of 15 suspended nurses are charged with wilful neglect.

29 September 2014 - Two nurses appear before Cardiff Crown Court charged with wilful neglect.

16 October 2014 - The findings of the spot checks on elderly care wards are published.