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Claims nurses were warned not to speak to head of NHS Wales during visit to Morriston A & E

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

Comments (25)

NURSES were warned to stay away from the head of the NHS in Wales when he paid a visit to Morriston Hospital so they did not raise any negative issues, it has been claimed.

Chief executive of NHS Wales David Sissling paid a visit to the hospital's A&E department last week, where he observed work and spoke to senior staff.

But one worker insists that nurses were warned by senior managers not to approach Mr Sissling — a claim which is denied by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

The nurse said: "They made it quite clear we were not to talk to him during his visit.

"Mr Sissling spoke to doctors and senior staff, but we were not allowed to do so.

"Nurses are under an immense amount of pressure — they are demoralised, exhausted and undervalued. A lot are on the point of having a breakdown.

"Many are ill because of the threat of disciplinary action if they don't come to work when they aren't well, and are sometimes less well than the patients they are looking after. No one listens to nurses on the shop floor.

"There are never beds available, but then some suddenly appeared on the day he arrived.

"There is a new multimillion- pound development going on, but it has just become a holding bay.

"As soon as he left, chaos resumed."

David Sissling was formerly chief executive of ABMU, and his visit was to see the completed £6 million expansion and refurbishment of the department.

An ABMU spokeswoman said: "We certainly didn't tell staff not to approach him, and he did speak to several members of staff.

"It was a quieter day in A&E than we have experienced recently so there was more bed availability. By the next morning there were still 14 trolleys available for patients, so it is not correct to say that 'chaos' ensued after he left.

"However, pressures on A&E departments across South Wales, not just ABMU, have been very high in recent months, and the professionalism and hard work of our staff is to be commended in dealing with these pressures.

"Work is under way looking at ideas for making better use of A&E staff across South Wales, particularly because of an ongoing shortage of A&E doctors.

"The refurbishment of Morriston A&E will also hopefully help to reduce delays in the department. It has almost doubled the amount of space available to treat those who are critically ill or injured. Trolley capacity has been increased, and there is a separate waiting room and treatment room for children. The department has also been extended to include a dedicated triage area for ambulance patients, providing a clinical team to assess and treat ambulance patients."

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  • Philosoraptor  |  January 28 2013, 10:36AM

    I will never vote for UKIP, they no valid policy on anything. It is reported that they complain about lack of work from MEPs yet MEPs complain about UKIP members not bothering to attend meetings and just getting drunk in the bars instead.

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  • brochadav  |  January 27 2013, 8:16PM

    Partly agree with Dai_chotomy, New Labour was full of champagne socialists. I'm entirely fed up of Labour and Tory. I'm taking a serious look at UKIP (like many others) and if they have worthwhile policies on things not EU related they may well get my vote. Where I cannot agree with Gorsseinon joe is about the staff. I have been unlucky enough to have had a lot of time in and around hospitals, the staff are mostly excellent. They are let down by the rancid minority, poor managers and of course being understaffed.

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  • Dai_Chotomy  |  January 27 2013, 7:09PM

    Ooh a Tory! There's a novelty. You are partly right GorseinonJoe, it could certainly have been put right by the Labour Government, but as Blair was/is a self-professed fan of the Hideous Woman he was hardly likely to dismantle her idiotic "reforms" was he? You seem to forget that the late and unlamented New Labour was a Thatcherite organisation, I felt genuinely sorry for the real socialists who found themselves in a party that had they had their time again they would never have joined.

  • GorsseinonJoe  |  January 27 2013, 6:37PM

    What is all this clap trap about "it's Thatchers fault"? There was a Labour government, remember Blair and his "we only have 24 hours to save the NHS"? He had 13 years, spent billions creating non jobs in the NHS on nursing staff as well as tier upon tier of paper pushes who had no idea of what medical treatment actually was, and who can forget the farce of PFI (introduced by a Labour Government) where the NHS was lumbered with so much debt that one in London has gone into administration? So let's start from that point and come to 2010 when the Labour minister left the note that "there's no money left" and Blair walked off to the Middle East as a "Special Envoy" for the UN with another suitcase full of cash, what a socialist! So wise up and stop our Welsh Assembly driving OUR NHS into the ground. There are none so blind as those who cannot see.

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  • Dai_Chotomy  |  January 27 2013, 1:12PM

    I know what is wrong with the NHS. It is simply and purely the legacy that Thatcher left us with her cockamamie ideas of "market forces". The idiocy of one hospital paying another for work that is free to the patient. Money changing hands simply for the sake of budgets etc.. How about being really radical? One NHS Board for Wales, one each for Scotland and Northern Ireland and, say, three for England? Then, if nothing else, there will be a severe reduction in moving money from one pocket to another in the same pair of trousers.

  • siarad2  |  January 27 2013, 12:27PM

    I remember pre NHS & there were no appointments with a GP, you went and sat for hours but no matter how late the hour everyone was seen before the surgery closed, the door only was at the specified time. The doctor also did night call-outs & we had home visits. Don't want to go back to that but a little of that caring is needed. Nobody saw a GP for aspirin, cough medicine etc, as is done now by the 'it's my rights' people, it was bought from the chemist. GP give out totally useless medicine just to get rid of people, such as antibiotics for a virus! common cold, to get rid of 'it's my rights people' yes I know such people who've admitted it to me.

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  • tomvox  |  January 26 2013, 9:27PM

    Nonsense - Sissling was head of ABMU and has had all the moaning from doctors and nurses alike. He didn't do much about it when he was here so why should he be different now.

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  • HaroldMonk  |  January 26 2013, 8:44PM

    Bullying from the managers no doubt about it.

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  • apharold  |  January 26 2013, 7:59PM


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  • apharold  |  January 26 2013, 7:50PM

    before the NHS was founded it was only people who had sufficient funds to receive were able to get immediate attention from surgeries, operation demanded great difficulties for ordinary man or woman who had just got over the poverty of the 30s and having made tremendous sacrifices during the war. a lot of people even these days would find it difficult afford private health insurance so lets have none of this tiatribe mentioned by previous commentators. if Sissing was inspecting Morriston hospital and was really interested in the circumstances of the running of this excellent hospital and was worth his salt he'd have quetioned all levels of staff so obviously his mission was to present a report favourable to his superiors and he should be questioned on the results that will present to his masters!!!!

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