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Neglect Case Leads To Welsh Government Review

The Serious Neglect Of An Elderly Patient Has Led To A Care Review In Wales


The neglect of a patient at two hospitals in south Wales has led Senedd health minister Mark Drakeford to promise a government review.

Lilian Williams from Porthcawl was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot Hospital four times between August 2010 and November 2012 before she died.

Family members of the woman claim she was left dehydrated and neglected by service providers, according to BBC Wales.

While she was nil by mouth for a number of days, she was not provided with adequate water to keep her going and this made her seriously ill. However, this issue was eventually spotted and Ms Williams made a recovery.

Commenting on the incident, her son Gareth said: "I'd go in to visit her and I would find that she had been left nil by mouth for several days until she was weak and wasn't able to lift a glass of water to her mouth, she was dehydrated.

"We sat by her bedside until her tongue swelled up and cracked and her lips split open for want of hydration."

An inquiry was ordered to find out how this neglect could happen but it never took place and when she was admitted to a local medical institution again in 2012 she passed away.

In response to the lack of an inquiry, health minister Mr Drakeford will now meet the family of Ms Williams and has promised a governmental review into the practices of NHS nurses and how things can be improved in the future.

A letter seen by BBC Wales shows that the main focus of the panel will be to see how professional nursing standards can be delivered consistently.

The culture of certain wards will also be examined, with a particular emphasis placed on breaking problematic habits and attitudes that may have built up over a number of years - potentially causing neglect or poor practice.

Expert Opinion
This is a truly tragic case where the patient was neglected by nursing staff at the hospital and we welcome the Welsh Government review that will look into how this could happen.

“Provision of food and hydration are basic human rights and it appalling that these were denied to an elderly woman Answers must be provided as to how and why this patient could be neglected on such a serious scale to ensure the same mistakes can never occur again.

"It is essential that this information is also shared with the public to restore faith in NHS services and provide reassurance that patient safety remains the top priority throughout all levels of NHS care.”
Julie Lewis, Partner