Minister blasts Labour’s Welsh NHS after his relative forced to wait 27 hours
WELSH Secretary David TC Davies has branded the country’s Labour-run NHS ‘absolutely shambolic’ after his father-in-law had to wait 27 hours to be admitted to hospital after a fall.
Mr Davies said his 72-year- old relative Joe, a retired farmer, endured ‘shameful and scandalous’ delays after injuring his back when he slipped on garden steps at the MP’s constituency home in Monmouth.
The accident left Joe unable to sit upright or stand and he was discovered by the family only after dragging himself indoors by his hands.
Mr Davies’s wife, Aliz, immediately called 111, who told her to contact the emergency services.
The initial 999 call was made at 10.55am on Monday, during which an operator promised that medical staff would ‘assess’ Joe within two hours.
A nurse telephoned shortly before 2pm and concluded that Joe’s spinal injury needed to be assessed in hospital. She said an ambulance would take approximately four hours.
Instead, nothing was heard until 10pm, when the emergency services phoned to apologise for the delay, saying that Joe’s case had been upgraded to ‘urgent’. Paramedics finally arrived at 4am on Tuesday, 17 hours after the initial 999 call.
But after driving to the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran, Joe’s ambulance had to queue outside for another seven hours. He was eventually assessed in the vehicle by a doctor who ordered a CT scan – but he was forced to remain in the vehicle until a bed became free at 1.45pm.
Mr Davies said: ‘He is an extremely tough man, and the staff who eventually did come were wonderful, but it was hugely distressing and frankly unacceptable. It is shameful and scandalous that an elderly man – who could have suffered a serious injury – was left waiting to get into hospital for more than 24 hours.
‘Sadly, I’m not completely surprised by the ordeal my father- in- law endured, because this is part of daily life for my constituents.’
Mr Davies’s comments come after the Welsh NHS revealed a record 583,000 people are on waiting lists.
And the Welsh Ambulance Service declared an ‘extraordinary incident’ after there was a 16-ambulance queue outside a Swansea hospital.
Mr Davies said the situation was ‘no fault of our first-class health professionals, who’re working around the clock to keep us safe’. He instead blamed the Welsh Government.
Mark Drakeford’s administration, dubbed a ‘blueprint’ for Labour government by Keir Starmer, is increasing the size of Wales’s Parliament and reducing speed limits to 20mph.
Mr Davies criticised the millions spent on the policies and said: ‘Yet they’re forcing health boards to make massive financial cuts. This is an absolute disgrace.’
A Welsh Government spokesman said: ‘We were sorry to learn about the patient’s experience. We have been clear with the Aneurin Bevan health board of our expectations for improvement in ambulance patient handover performance to free up vehicles to support faster responses.’
‘Shameful and scandalous’