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Insiders wonder where the money has gone

Furious health workers in Wales have reacted angrily to news that Welsh health boards are £150 million in the red as scandals have emerged, The Eye can reveal.

One told us:  “It is unbelievable.

“Where do they spend the money?

“It is certainly not on our services because they are collapsing.”

Does essential health work mean boards overspend by millions?

Another said:  “While we work all hours the bosses get paid loads, that is where the money goes”.

The shock news comes amid disclosures that Wales’ seven health boards have racked up the huge debt, which is a staggering 200 per cent increase on the previous financial year.

Yet the NHS deficit in Wales is growing – health boards are facing a black hole of £175 million by the end of 2017 – 2018.

Brecon war memorial hospital – police investigation

The financial overspend is also set against a backdrop of enormous controversies in the NHS – some of which have been revealed exclusively by The Eye.

We were given details by whistleblowers who had worked at Brecon War Memorial Hospital of how an elderly stroke victim was allegedly slapped in bed by a carer, and visiting families were forced to bring in food to keep their starving relatives alive.

Notes were allegedly falsified

We have also been told falsification of notes at the hospital was “routine practice”.

One whistleblower said:  “The night culture at Brecon hospital is amateur at best, dangerous at worst.

(Staff were) drunk on duty, nurses (were) put to bed as they were drunk, then woken up before days-staff turned up.

“A convicted sex-offender was working as a care assistant.”

A police investigation followed which lasted several months.

 

 

Ysbyty Cwm Cynon – ‘serious injuries’

The disturbing news of the events at Brecon hospital came hard on the heels of earlier scandals.

At Ysbyty Cwm Cynon in Mountain Ash, ten hospital workers were suspended after the death of an elderly woman who was found with “unexplained and serious injuries” on the ward.

Lillian Williams died after ‘treatment’

Meanwhile nurses at a hospital in Bridgend were investigated by police for allegedly drugging elderly and difficult patients to enjoy a quiet night shift.

One nurse blew the whistle on what was happening before the death of an 82 year old woman, Lillian Willams, at the town’s Princess of Wales hospital.

She had one of her legs amputated but died in 2013 after a catalogue of neglect at the hospital, which is part of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board.

Where does the money go in the Welsh health service?

In total two deaths at the Princess of Wales hospital, occurred after a review recommended changes in practices which should have ensured “patient safety”.

After the first death, ABMU said they had found “aspects of the patient’s care that were not up to standard” and an immediate action plan was designed “with an emphasis on communication, further staff training, record-keeping, recognising early signs of a patient’s condition deteriorating and escalating this appropriately in line with health board policy”.

What went on at the Tawel Fan ward was described as a ‘shaming hospital care scandal’ by the Daily Mail

The patient’s family were offered “sincere condolences” and officials were “sorry they (the family) have needed to contact us with concerns”.

But these revelations followed further unsettling information about the Welsh NHS.

At the Tawel Fan ward in Glan Clwyd Hospital, it was disclosed that patients were “kept like animals” and they had to crawl across a urine-stained floor.

Trevor Purt reacts to his suspension

Family members raised their concerns with hospital authorities as early as November 2012, a year before it closed, but the appalling standard of care was only disclosed by the Daily Mail after mobile phones which filmed the events, were smuggled on to the ward.

The health board responsible, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) was placed in special measures and the controversial chief executive Trevor Purt was suspended.

Controversy seems to follow the Welsh NHS – not only with scandals of how patients are treated but now spending too much money.

 

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The Eye is edited by Phil Parry. Phil is a former BBC news and current affairs reporter. He is winner of the BT Wales award for journalist of the year, BT Wales TV reporter of the year and radio reporter of the year.

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