High standards of care but ongoing concerns in some areas, says Healthcare Inspectorate Wales in its latest Annual Report

In its annual report published today [Tuesday 6 August 2019], Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has summarised the findings of over 170 inspections and six national reviews published over the course of 2018-19.

As the organisation that checks that people in Wales are receiving good quality healthcare, HIW inspects a wide range of services including hospitals, dentists, clinics, community mental health teams and mental health units, and GP surgeries across Wales’s seven NHS health boards and the independent healthcare sector.

Through its work, HIW found examples of good practice and found that people receiving services were generally happy with the care they’ve received and valued the work delivered by dedicated and committed staff.

The report also highlights challenges facing health services and a number of recurring themes including:

  • Staffing levels in hospitals continue to be a significant challenge
  • Continuing difficulties for the public in securing a timely GP appointment
  • The safe storage and administration of medicines continues to be a problem across sectors
  • Concerns over the planning of treatment and care in mental health settings with both the NHS and independent sector.

Dr Kate Chamberlain, the Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, said:

Overall we saw a high standard of healthcare being delivered to patients. In particular, our dental inspections were very good on the whole with some practices receiving outstanding reports.

It was clear from our hospital inspections particularly, however, that services continue to face significant challenges with regard to staffing levels. From our GP inspections, timely access to appointments is an issue that continues to crop up again and again.

In most of our inspections across all settings, the safe storage and administration of medicines continues to be a problem. This is disappointing as it is an issue that has been highlighted in previous annual reports, and whilst some health boards and settings have made improvements, others are still not addressing the issue.

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