Welsh secretary David Davies savages Labour-run NHS as 'shambolic'

Welsh secretary David Davies savages Labour-run NHS in the country as ‘shambolic’ after his father-in-law, 72, had to wait nearly 27 HOURS to be admitted to hospital

  • David TC Davies said the accident left Joe unable to sit upright or stand 

The Welsh Secretary has branded its Labour-run NHS ‘absolutely shambolic’ after his elderly father-in-law was forced to wait for almost 27 hours to be admitted to a local hospital after suffering a serious fall.

David TC Davies said 72-year-old Joe, a retired farmer, endured a ‘shameful and scandalous’ series of delays after injuring his back when he slipped backwards down a flight of garden steps at the MP’s constituency home in Monmouth.

The accident left him unable to sit upright or stand, and he was only discovered by the family after dragging himself indoors by his hands.

Mr Davies’ wife, Aliz, immediately called 111 who advised 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’ him 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 to arrive.

David TC Davies (pictured) said his father-in-law endured a ‘shameful and scandalous’ series of delays after injuring his back when he slipped backwards down a flight of garden steps at the MP’s constituency home in Monmouth

Instead, the elderly patient heard nothing until 10pm, when the emergency services phoned to apologise for the delay, saying that Joe’s case had been upgraded to ‘urgent.’ However paramedics didn’t actually turn up until 4am on Monday morning.

‘This was 17 hours after the initial 999 call, during which my father-in-law had been left in significant pain,’ says Mr Davies. ‘He is an extremely tough man, and the staff who eventually did come were wonderful, but it was hugely distressing and frankly unacceptable.’

Joe’s ordeal didn’t end there. He was instead taken to the Grange Hospital in Cwmbran, where his ambulance was forced to wait in a queue outside the hospital building for another seven hours.

He was eventually assessed in the vehicle by a doctor who ordered a CT scan. That could only take place once a bed became free, and it wasn’t until 1.45pm on Tuesday that he was admitted.

‘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,’ said Mr Davies last night.

‘Sadly I’m not completely surprised by the ordeal by father-in-law endured because this is part of daily life for my constituents. Day in, day out you hear of similar stories. I’ve even been aware of a constituent, who had a broken hip at the time, who was taken to hospital tied to the back of a plank.’

The accident left Joe unable to sit upright or stand, and he was only discovered by the family after dragging himself indoors by his hands

The Welsh Secretary’s comments come days after the Welsh NHS revealed that a record 583,000 patients – almost one in five people in the country – are languishing on waiting lists. A total of 27,000 have been awaiting treatment for more than two years. The equivalent figure for England, which has 20 times the population, is 265.

Elsewhere, The Welsh Ambulance Service was forced to declare an ‘extraordinary incident’ nine days ago, after a weekend in which a queue of 16 ambulances was observed outside Swansea’s Morriston hospital. One which was stuck there for 28 hours.

Last month also saw the Royal College of Emergency Medicine reveal that the Welsh Government had manipulated waiting time figures for A&E services to dramatically reduce the number of patients recorded as waiting more than four hours for treatment. Around 20 percent of such cases had been scrubbed from the records by being classified as a ‘breach exemption.’

Mr Davies said he wanted to stress that the situation is ‘no fault of our first-class health professionals, who’re working around the clock to keep us safe.’

READ MORE: NHS waiting list shoots to ANOTHER record high with 7.75million patients stuck in backlog amid fears worse is yet to come with winter looming

He instead laid blame at the door of the Welsh Government, which controls the Welsh NHS and has been run by Labour for more than 20 years.

‘Despite increased funding from the UK Government, Labour has previously cut the health budget in Wales, which now has the worst waiting lists in the whole of the UK,’ he said. 

Mark Drakeford’s administration, dubbed a ‘blueprint’ for Labour government by Keir Starmer, is implementing highly controversial schemes to increase the size of the country’s parliament and reduce speed limits from 30mph to 20mph.

‘It’s outrageous that they can find £130 million of taxpayers’ money to create more politicians in the Welsh Parliament and £33 million to impose the 20mph blanket policy, yet they’re forcing health boards to make massive financial cuts. This is an absolute disgrace.

‘It’s an national scandal. Every single power the Labour Welsh Government has responsibility for in Wales – health, education, transport, environment – they are drastically failing in. And this is what is in stall for the rest of the United Kingdom if Keir Starmer comes to power – after all, he constantly bleats that the Welsh Government’s track record is a blueprint for what a Labour UK Government would roll out to the rest of Britain.’

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said last night: ‘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. All health boards and the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust have joint ambulance improvement plans in place to improve speed of ambulance responses and management of 999 patients in the community.

‘Despite continued budget pressures we are investing in same day emergency care and extra community beds as well as integrated solutions with social care services to improve patient flow through hospitals; and tackle ambulance handover delays.’

Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, said: ‘We are deeply sorry to hear about this patient’s experience. Poor ambulance response times are a symptom of much broader and complex system-wide issues, including hospital handover delays, which are not unique to Wales.

‘When crews are tied up at hospital, they’re unable to respond to other 999 calls, which is why some patients in the community wait a long time for our help, like Mr Davies’s father-in-law did on this occasion. It’s as frustrating for us as it is for patients and it’s not the emergency service we want to provide.’

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which runs The Grange Hospital, said: ‘We are so sorry to hear that the patient faced this long wait. Like hospitals across Wales and the rest of the UK, we are experiencing significant delays in the flow of patients through our hospital systems at the moment due to difficulties with discharging patients who no longer need hospital-based care.’

Mr Davies said his father-in-law had now been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

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