Publish Tawel Fan ward deaths report, says Tory leader

Reporter:

Stephanie Price

A REVIEW into the deaths which occurred on a scandal-hit mental health ward must be published, the Welsh Conservative leader has said.

During First Minister’s Questions, however, Carwyn Jones refused to make public a review of mortality rates on the Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan after Andrew R T Davies had asked him to do so.

The First Minister has the ultimate authority to publish the review into deaths which occurred on the ward, which falls under the control of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

The ward, which was closed three years ago after it emerged that mental health patients had been treated “like animals”, is now the focus of a fresh scandal following revelations that substandard quality of care may have contributed to the death of at least seven patients.  

A review of mortality rates on the ward has never been published although it is understood it has been completed. 

Mr Jones gave the Welsh Conservative leader no firm commitments on a publication date but agreed to write to Mr Davies with a timeline for publication.

Speaking outside the Assembly Chamber, Mr Davies said:“I look forward to the First Minister’s letter, which I hope, as agreed, will include a timeline for publication so that at last lessons can be learned, and safeguards can be put in place to ensure that similar failings are never again repeated.”

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar said: “This is very concerning and the authorities should reconsider their decision not to bring prosecutions.

“Patients were treated like animals and doctors and nursing staff guilty of serious breaches of the professional standards that they are expected to uphold. Not one person has lost their job as a result of the dreadful situation that occurred on that ward. It’s about time heads should roll.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “As the Health Secretary made clear in response to an oral question from Darren Miller last week, the mortality report findings are now forming part of the wider formal HASCAS investigation into the care at Tawel Fan.   Publishing the mortality review at this stage could well undermine the investigation process that is now at a critical and sensitive stage. 

”As promised, the First Minister will be writing to Andrew RT Davies about the likely timescales for publishing the related reports having consulting the Independent Steering Group that has been set up by Welsh Government to oversee the process.”

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