The Health Board has fully accepted all the findings of the Royal Colleges’ review published today (Tuesday April 30th 2019) and says that putting things right is now the organisation’s utmost priority.
The review was commissioned by Welsh Government in October 2018 following the health board’s own review into in its internal incident reporting system.
The reviewers visited the Health Board in January 2019 and went to both Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant and Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil to speak to a range of staff as well as women and families who have used its services.
Today’s report identifies failings in maternity services across the organisation and makes a wide range of recommendations for improvement.
The Health Board has been working hard to make improvements in maternity care and implementation of some of the recommendations in the report is already underway, including the actions taken following the immediate feedback from the review team in January. However, it recognises that significant work remains to be done and is committed to undertaking all necessary action to deliver the report’s recommendations in full.
Professor Marcus Longley, Chair of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “On behalf of the Health Board, I apologise unreservedly for the failings in our maternity service. We will now do everything we can to put right the problems identified in the review and we will not stop until our maternity services are of the standards which everyone has a right to expect.
“We are determined to deliver on the recommendations of today’s report however we know this will require a significant amount of work and we welcome all additional support to achieve this.
“We fully accept the decision to increase the Health Board’s escalation status so everyone can be provided with the assurance that all necessary action is being taken at every level to make improvements in our maternity services.
“We also welcome the expert advice and oversight announced by the Minister today and will be working closely with Welsh Government officials to take the required action to put these arrangements in place.”
Allison Williams, Chief Executive of Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: “I am deeply sorry for the failings that have been identified in our maternity service.
“Every woman deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, safe in the knowledge that they will receive the very best care at this important and vulnerable time in their life. Some of the feedback we have received from patients is extremely distressing and their experience in our maternity service has been totally unacceptable. I would like to offer my sincerest and heartfelt apologies to the families affected and assure them and our community of our absolute commitment to put things right.
“We do not underestimate how difficult it has been for women and families to come forward and speak about their experience. I would like to thank them for their courage and to reassure them that their voice has been heard. We are taking the report’s findings very seriously at every single level in the organisation and all aspects of the review will be used positively to improve our services going forward.
“A number of families are already in contact with us and we will continue to provide them with all and every assistance they need. We would also encourage any other patients with any concerns about their care to contact us directly so we can answer their queries and provide support as required.
“I would also like to say sorry to our staff who have felt that their concerns have not been listened to. We will be working with them to put things right.
“We remain fully committed to doing everything we possibly can to deliver a high quality maternity service that meets all the best practice standards and provides safe and effective care for local women and their babies.”