Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

David TC Davies’ father-in-law ‘waited 27 hours for admission to hospital after accident’

05 Nov 2023 6 minute read
Welsh Secretary David TC Davies outside the Grange Hospital

Martin Shipton

The state of the NHS in Wales has been branded a “national scandal” by the Welsh Secretary David TC Davies after his elderly father-in-law was left waiting nearly 27 hours to be admitted to Gwent’s flagship hospital with a spinal injury.

The Monmouth Tory MP said long ambulance waits and poor hospital handover times have sadly been a “part of daily life” facing Monmouthshire residents for several years.

He described a catalogue of “disgraceful” delays following 72-year-old Joe’s serious fall as yet another example of “systematic healthcare failings”.

An accident at the MP’s family home in Monmouth left the retired farmer, who is visiting from Hungary, unable to sit upright or stand. He slipped backwards down a flight of garden steps, badly hurting his back, and had to drag himself indoors by his hands before raising the alarm.

Mr Davies’ wife, Aliz, who was across the border in England at the time, immediately called 111 but was told they were unable to help as the incident had happened in Wales. She was instead advised to contact the emergency services.

An initial 999 call was made at 10:55am on Monday October 30 when an operator said Joe had to be assessed before an ambulance could be sent and medical staff would call within two hours.

At 1:35pm, following a further 999 call, he was assessed over the phone by a nurse. She said he needed to be sent to hospital, but an ambulance would take four hours to arrive.

However, the family heard nothing until 10:30pm when the emergency services rang to apologise for the continued delay, saying Joe’s case had been upgraded to “urgent”.

“My wife even asked at one point if she could drive her father to hospital,” said Mr Davies. “He was in significant discomfort and while he might have been able to take enough painkillers to endure the journey by lying down across the back of the car, Aliz would have needed help to get him out.

“She was told he would have to wait in a chair at the hospital, which was obviously not an option as he couldn’t sit. The operator said there was nothing much they could do except to keep waiting for an ambulance.”

Paramedics eventually arrived at 4am on Tuesday morning – 17 hours after the initial 999 call.

Queue

Yet the ordeal didn’t end there. Joe was taken to The Grange University Hospital at Llanfrechfa, where his ambulance was forced to wait in a queue outside the emergency department for another seven hours.

He was assessed by a doctor who ordered a CT scan – but that could only take place once a bed became free. It wasn’t until 1:45pm on Tuesday that he was finally admitted.

“My father-in-law is an extremely tough man and the staff who did treat him were wonderful, but this was a hugely distressing incident,” said Mr Davies.

“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 am not completely surprised because this is part of daily life for my constituents, day in, day out. Many people have experienced serious issues and while I received another appalling healthcare complaint over the weekend, I realise there are some patients who may not want to come forward and talk about it.”

Independent inquiry

Mr Davies has repeatedly called for an independent inquiry into The Grange and accused the Welsh Government of “burying its head in the sand” after a damning report last year by Health Inspectorate Wales said urgent improvements were needed at the hospital’s emergency department amid concerns patients are not consistently receiving an acceptable standard of care.

“The Grange is not good enough. It is not delivering and nobody can say it has been a great success,” he said.

“When proposals were first announced to downgrade A&E at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny to a Minor Injury Unit – which is ironically now under threat of overnight closure – health bosses and consultants personally assured me that the extra journey time it would take for patients travelling the longer distance to Llanfrechfa would be compensated for by the new specialist and critical care ‘centre of excellence’ at The Grange, alongside a much better level of service in the ambulance en route.

“The sad reality is ambulances are not turning up and when they do, patients are facing unacceptably long waits to be seen. You can understand why people are deeply worried and upset.”

Mr Davies stressed the situation is “no fault of our first-class health professionals, who are working around the clock to keep us safe”.

He instead firmly 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 times in the whole of the UK,” added Mr Davies.

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

“It is a national scandal. Every single power the Welsh Labour Government has responsibility for in Wales – health, education, transport, environment – they are drastically failing in. And this is what is in store for the rest of the UK 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.”

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

A Welsh Government spokesperson 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.

“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.”

The spokesperson added that Wales has outperformed England in major emergency department performance in 10 out of the last 13 months for people spending fewer than four hours in emergency departments before returning home or being admitted to hospital.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
5 months ago

You are starting to realise the reality of life in Wales of which you clearly and deliberately fail to understand
If you do one thing in life resign then join me in and my countrymen and women working for an independent
Wales

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

The Tory policies towards the NHS, which has seen doctors as well as nurses taking strike action, have now come home to roost at a personal level for this particular Tory. Will it change his attitude, I doubt it, he will just point the finger, and act as if 13 years of his Tory party setting the budget for all 4 nations, indirectly, is not to blame.

David Pearn
David Pearn
5 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

My thoughts exactly.

Frank
Frank
5 months ago

Well Davies, as Secretary of State for Wales, what are you going to do about it? Now’s your big chance to shine.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
5 months ago

Oh look, he’s using the ‘blanket’ word again about the 20mph policy.

Therefore, I shall not listen to him as he’s simply not got a clue.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago

Hope he loses his seat at the next election. I expect if that happens he will stand as a candidate in the 2026 election and be part of the institution he would like to see abolished.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob

He was an AM in what was then the Welsh Assembly before becoming and MP.

Gerallt Williams
5 months ago

The problem is we need more hospitals in Wales and we need to stop using hospitals in English border towns. An Independent Wales will be prosperous enough to build new hospitals and airports. I am sure an Independent Wales would benefit England as well after all with more hospitals in Wales there would be less pressure on the English NHS.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
5 months ago

How I wish this would be so, but Wales’ finances would just about break even if the country were to become independent, so for quite some time it would be a case of incremental and marginal improvements in the first few years. The Welsh economy has potential, but is, in general terms, undeveloped and lacking in diversity with too many areas reliant on tourism and its caustic and impoverishing effects. There is also little fundamentally wrong with sending people for treatment in different countries where capacity or expertise exists. When the UK was still in the EU patients from the… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
5 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Wales will remain impoverished for as long as it is controlled by Westminster. Even now much of the wealth is sucked out of Wales and into England. Independence is the only answer.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Same that the UK pulled us out of the EU.

When we become independent we will have the choice to join the EU at a newly independent European nation.

Gerallt Williams
5 months ago

Wales voted to leave the EU more comprehensively than any other part of the UK.

Karl
Karl
5 months ago

Although true, I wonder if a Welsh media might actually tell us the benfits and change minds. Because the English media failed us all. And then you have the disgraceful westminster mob who did nothing to show the benefits. In fact Cameron told lies about the EU, then told people to vote remain moments later. So indy might help us elect actual real people, not pupptes, clowns and people with no humility.

Bill sell
Bill sell
5 months ago

When are we going to kick these moron smug tories out of power?

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill sell

Only Plaid Cymru is able to advance Wales to become an independent nation.

Labour is failing the people of Wales in its effort to appease the UK Tories by
remaining in the UK and outside the EU.

For the Tories they see Wales as a country to exploit for the UK regime.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Conservative crocodile tears I’m afraid. Maybe if we had that HS2 consequential you David TC Davies arrogantly denied Wales perhaps your father-in-law could have been treated sooner after his accident by the Welsh NHS.

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I agree with you that we should have been drawing down a big lump of funds from HS2 consequential formula. However I seriously doubt whether the Bay regime would have deployed the funds to improve service levels when there are more pressing bureaucratic and ideological claims on those funds. Don’t count on this lot to look at the needs of people at the sharp end.

oatmaster
oatmaster
5 months ago

Must be a little bit sad being the secretary of state for Wales. You’re sort of in charge of certain bits but almost all the important stuff is devolved away. I hope the real secretaries of state don’t make fun of him.

Dafydd
Dafydd
5 months ago

The man who can actually do something about this by providing additional funding does nothing but throw cheap policial attacks. I’m honestly not surprised he isn’t blaming Travellers or other minorities to boot. Despicable man and party. Cymru can do better.

Pobun
Pobun
5 months ago

David T C Davies is the Secretary of State for Wales and has publicly declared that HS2 is definitely of benefit to Wales. It is sad that his Father in Law had to wait, but this is not a case that is unique to Wales.
What is interesting is that David T C Davies’ family is in the road haulage trade and really doesn’t need a good North South railway!
Senedd or no Senedd we are still tied to the purse strings of Westminster and David TC is complicit in this , but dares not criticise his Paymasters!

Steve
Steve
5 months ago

The savage cuts of the Tory/Lib Dem austerity programme built decline into all the UK’s public services for years to come. Davies…..you reap what you sow.

Ann
Ann
5 months ago

I had to take my husband to A&E in Morriston on Friday. We went by car from home and were back home in 4 hours. In December 2019 he had a similar episode in Herefordshire. The ambulance attended promptly, but we were then in a queue outside Hereford County Hospital for some time and all his assessment took place on a trolley in a corridor. At the time we were told by the ambulance crew that Hereford County didn’t have too many problems with queuing ambulances. I don’t believe anyone eho says things are better in England!

Karl
Karl
5 months ago

Defunding Cymru for 13 yrs and harder since Brexit. Perhaps his tiny brain, is rattling around in his head a little to much.Austerity was always going to bring this, no EU money or proper replacement was going to compound the pain. All while we never give the Tories a mandate to govern. He should resign for his many crimes and stupidities. This is just the latest.

Martin
Martin
5 months ago

Noticeable how short staffed the NHS is after the bigots who trusted the Tories demanded we send all the skilled workers home?

Looks like the clueless old Gammons are learning about consequences?

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.