ONE staff member derided the quality of management at Wales’ biggest hospital’s Emergency Department, describing them as weak while saying targets far precede patient care.

Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW) made an unannounced visit to the Emergency Department at University Hospital Wales in March and at the beginning of June published their report.

In it, HIW cover all manner of topics including quality of patient experience, safeguarding of children and adults, decontamination standards, blood management and, in one section, quality of management and leadership.

It was here one of the staff members was scathing of the Emergency Department’s leadership team, while saying patient care is being compromised to meet targets.

Responding to the questionnaire, the staffer wrote: “I am ashamed to say that ‘clocks’ and arbitrary targets far precede that of patient care the constant undue pressure to react to ambulance arrivals last minute is soul destroying and very unfair the patients receiving appropriate care, and placing staff under unnecessary pressures increases stress levels.”

The staff member went on to say they felt staff were being ‘bullied’ into dealing with ‘reactive situations’.

“The constant interfering by an outside department is overwhelming, and the weakness of the Emergency Department management team is magnified by allowing this to happen, rather than standing up the patient and staff rights to be treated with dignity and not bullied into reactive situations.”

The staff member said arbitrary targets far precede that of patient careThe staff member said arbitrary targets far precede that of patient care (Image: Google Maps)

In general the report was positive about the current status of UHW’s Emergency Department.

On the quality of management and leadership – something questioned by the staffer's comments – the report said: “We confirmed a suitable management structure was in place for the ED and senior staff described clear lines of reporting and escalation,” said the report.

“Suitable arrangements were described for sharing quality and safety related information.

“We witnessed safety meetings being held at regular intervals throughout the day discussing current escalation status and highlighting areas of concern.

“We were told by staff that managers were visible.

“Generally, staff provided positive feedback regarding the improvements that had been made over the past two years.”

Under heading ‘Whole System Approach’, the report said: “We found the department appeared to have good working relationships with stakeholders such as Welsh Ambulance Service Trust (WAST) with their work to improve ambulance waiting times.

“We were told that wider integration between the Emergency Department and other parts of the health board were working to improve waiting times.

“Staff explained that a GP consultant telephone line was in place with the aim of preventing unnecessary visits to the department.”