During 2016-17 we conducted 16 hospital inspections within the seven health boards in Wales, visiting 20 hospitals and 27 wards in total.
Despite the very real challenges facing health boards and acute hospitals, and the complexity of how they delivered services, we generally found management and leadership to be strong at ward and Executive Board level.
We found that patients’ and relatives’ experience of healthcare during inspections were positive and that people were treated with kindness, courtesy and politeness. We also found that health boards placed a considerable emphasis on the delivery of safe and effective care, with some good examples seen of patient-centred care being provided by committed staff.
However, issues with medicine management, record keeping and infection control are still apparent. All health boards must ensure that they act upon the recommendations for improvement made in the report.
The key themes emerging from the 2016-17 inspections that need immediate improvement were:
- The absence of patient identification wristbands which could have led to medication administration/treatment/investigation error.
- Compliance with the Mental Capacity Act (2005) Legislation. Failure to do this had the potential to undermine patients’ human rights.
- Effective and prompt application of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
- Improvements to aspects of medicines management.
- Monitoring and treatment of patients in non-clinical areas of emergency.
Commenting on the report, HIW’s Chief Executive Dr Kate Chamberlain said:
Our report recognises the hard work and commitment of staff working across the NHS in Wales. Whilst many patients have a positive experience of NHS hospital care, more work is needed to address a number of longstanding issues that undermine the delivery of safe effective care.