Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, calls for review of Welsh hospitals

His comments come amid rising pressure in Wales for a public inquiry over alleged care failings at two hospitals

Charlie Cooper
Wednesday 05 February 2014 20:30 GMT
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt (Getty Images)

Hospitals in Wales should be subjected to a major safety review following a wave of allegations of poor patient care, the English Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said.

In a rare intervention in the Welsh NHS, Mr Hunt said that Labour's Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham should “tell the Labour Party in Wales” to carry out a “Keogh style mortality review” - a reference to NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh's review of English hospitals which resulted in 11 being placed in special measures last year.

His comments, made in the House of Commons, came amid rising pressure in Wales for a public inquiry over alleged care failings at two hospitals.

However, a spokesperson for the Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford said that people in Wales receive “excellent care from the NHS” and said that Mr Hunt should “get on with his job” of running the NHS in England.

An independent inquiry has been launched into Princess of Wales and Port Talbot Hospitals, both part of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board, prompted by allegations that an 82-year-old patient, Lillian Williams, was neglected during stays at both hospitals. Her family is now seeking a public inquiry.

A spokesperson for Mr Drakeford added: “Where there is an issue we take action to correct it… We don't hide behind lengthy and costly inquiries which would divert resources and attention away from direct patient care. And we don't cast around for political scapegoats in the way Jeremy Hunt has today.”

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