Plaid Cymru leader urges First Minister to respond to Glangwili ‘alarm bell’

Plaid Cymru has demanded that the Welsh Government responds to ‘alarm bell’ mortality figures in West Wales General Hospital (Glangwili) and Neath Port Talbot Hospital. The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood AM called on the First Minister to send in Health Inspectorate Wales to investigate why its RAMI figures pointed to higher risk levels in the two hospitals.

The figures published by the government last month showed that 37% more deaths happened in Glangwili hospital would have been expected. They also reveal that 28% more deaths happened in Neath Port Talbot Hospital than should be expected.

Leanne Wood urged the First Minister to learn the lessons of Mid Staffordshire rather than question the data.

The review the Welsh Government has announced is a statistical review to reassess clinical targets, not a clinical review to address high mortality rates.

The Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood said:

“Welsh Government statistics last week showed that Glangwili Hospital has a mortality rate 37% higher than should be expected. The same figures also showed that Neath Port Talbot Hospital’s rate was over 28 per cent higher than would be expected.

“But the First Minister is unable to explain these statistics.

“It should be a cause for alarm that Glangwili Hospital hasn’t had an inspection since March 2011 and that was a cleanliness inspection.

“One of the crucial lessons from the failures of Mid Staffordshire is that figures like this should act as an alarm bell.

“When such an alarm sounds, there should at least be an investigation. And that’s why Plaid Cymru is calling for the Health Inspectorate Wales to carry out reviews at Glangwili and Neath Port Talbot to investigate and produce an explanation for these statistics.”

Carmarthenshire Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas added:

“At face value the figures are extremely worrying. There may well be reasonable explanations behind the high mortality rates, but without an inspection of the hosptial the public can’t have confidence in the data.

“Glangwili is a vitally important hosptial – of strategic importance to the whole of west Wales. The hospital’s staff work well under immense pressure and we are grateful for their work.

“The mortality rates are a smoke signal. The Welsh government needs to rule out whether there is a fire burning beneath these figures.”