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Health board demonstrated “reckless apathy” to complainants, says Angela Burns AM

The public services ombudsman has criticised Cwm Taf health board for taking more than three years to handle a complaint.

A woman, referred to as Mrs D, died at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant a day after being admitted in November 2012.

A report by the public services ombudsman for Wales found Cwm Taf took too long to investigate Miss D’s son’s complaint and said there was a “lack of transparency” in its response.

Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Nobody should have to wait three years for their complaint to handled, and Cwm Taf’s handling of this particular case demonstrates a reckless apathy to complainants.

“The health board’s excuse borders on the ridiculous; how can it be ethically permissible to ‘cull’ complaints?!

“It is up to health boards to show complete transparency over its failings so that, where appropriate, apologies can be made, lessons can be learned, and care can be improved. It is only by doing this that NHS users can have full confidence in services.

“This episode underscores the importance of strengthening the patient voice and the folly in the Welsh Government’s plans to scrap Community Health Councils.”