- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
The Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths, says “action will be taken and lessons will be learned” in response to the case of a diabetic man who died following failures by medical staff at Aberystwyth’s Bronglais Hospital.
Mr Joseph, 80, was admitted to Bronglais Hospital in December 2008. Monitoring failures contributed to his hypoglycaemic attack and he later suffered a heart attack. He died in April 2009.
The Minister made the statement in response to an appeal by Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson, who met the family of Mr Joseph at the Assembly last month.
During question time on Wednesday (27 June), Mrs Watson paid tribute to the “dignity and diligence” of the Joseph family, and sought assurances that lessons would be learned with regard to blood sugar monitoring. She said:
“As well as discussing the particular circumstances of Mr Joseph’s case, [the family] raised the issue about diabetes care standards in Wales more generally.”
Mrs Watson asked the Minister:
“Could you ensure that the recommendations made by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales are implemented by Hywel Dda Local Health Board and that the lessons learned regarding blood sugar monitoring and diabetic care standards are shared across Wales?”
The Public Service Ombudsman for Wales, Peter Tyndall, carried out an investigation into the circumstances of Mr Joseph’s death following a complaint by the family.
Mr Tyndall, who gave his ruling in April and made recommendations, found medical failures and “dubious” record keeping of Mrs Joseph’s blood-sugar monitoring chart.
In response to Mrs Watson’s plea, the Health Minister said she expected all health boards “to plan and deliver high-quality and sustainable diabetes services in line with national standards and guidelines.” She said:
“Clearly, standards fell way below what we would want and expect.
“I met with the two daughters of Mr Joseph, along with my chief nursing officer, and we listened very much to their concerns and gave them sincere assurances that action will be taken and lessons will be learned not just with Hywel Dda Local Health Board, but more widely within NHS Wales.
“In relation to the PSOW’s recommendations, the chief executive of NHS Wales has written to all health boards expressing his concern and to ensure that the recommendations are being fully implemented. I have reiterated that with my chairs, and officials will be monitoring this very closely.”