Problems at Gwent’s flagship hospital can no longer be ignored by the Welsh Government, an MP has said.
Monmouth MP David Davies has repeated his calls for a public inquiry into The Grange University Hospital at Llanfrechfa following a critical report.
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) said urgent improvements are needed at the hospital’s accident and emergency department amid concerns patients are not consistently receiving an acceptable standard of care.
The Grange has come under heavy criticism since it opened on 17 November 2020 – with a catalogue of incidents shining a spotlight on healthcare failings affecting Monmouthshire in particular.
“In light of this damning report, the Welsh Labour Government simply cannot bury its head in the sand anymore,” said Mr Davies.
“HIW has confirmed what we have been saying for a long time, which is backed up by a volume of complaints received by my office and numerous letters in the local newspapers.
“It is not about apportioning blame and nor is this an attack on our hardworking doctors, nurses and paramedics. We are being let down by those in charge and the buck stops with ministers in Cardiff Bay.”
A key component of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Clinical Futures Strategy, which aims to revolutionise health services in Gwent, The Grange is the region’s only hospital for accident and emergency care.
The Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital and Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr now only operate minor injury units.
“When it was first proposed downgrading Neill Hall Hospital to a minor injury unit, both myself and Monmouthshire residents were assured the extra journey time it would take for patents travelling the longer distance to Llanfrechfa would be compensated for by the specialist and critical care ‘centre of excellence’ at The Grange,” said Mr Davies.
“The fact of the matter is this sadly has not always been the case. I would not be doing my job as a representative of the Monmouth constituency if I turned a blind eye to patients spending 24 hours in the back of ambulances outside A&E because of a lack of bed space, or a heart attack victim who was told she had to wait two hours for an ambulance. I won’t stay silent on these issues.
“We need a full public inquiry to drive forward timely improvements. The Welsh Government has so far refused but health minister Eluned Morgan should at the very least step in and appoint someone impartial to examine these healthcare failings. She cannot continue to ignore what is happening.”