COMPLAINTS by patients about treatment in hospitals run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (AMBU) healthboard have risen by 188 per cent in the past five years.
Plaid Cymru submitted a Freedom of Information request to all seven Welsh health boards, and found that complaints to ABMU rose from 298 in 2009 to 858 during that period.
Bethan Jenkins, AM for South Wales West, said: "We keep being reassured that things are improving with ABMU, yet the bad news keeps on coming.
"This will further demoralise a largely first class workforce that continues to be tarnished with the same brush.
"The health board is letting down the people who work for it, as well as the patients."
A spokeswoman for AMBU said: “We are always sorry whenever anyone has cause to contact us with their concerns and apologise sincerely to patients and families we have let down. “We have many examples of excellent care in all our hospitals. ABMU has over 2.5 million patient contacts a year and as the FOI figures show one of the lowest complaint rates of the NHS in Wales.“But any case of poor care is not acceptable. All patients have the right to expect consistent, high quality care and we are doing our utmost to ensure this is delivered on every ward and department.“To achieve this, the feedback and experiences of patients and families, whether they are good or bad, are critical so we can make the necessary positive changes in order to continuously improve and develop our services. “The Health Board actively encourages patients and families to get in touch and has a number of ways to do this including publically available direct email and telephone details for the Patient Experience Team, ward clinics for patients and families, friends and family feedback boxes on wards and concerns clinics where people can meet face-to-face with senior managers and clinicians.“As well as increasing the number of staff in key areas we are seeing positive outcomes including improvements in ambulance handover times, mortality rates to below the Welsh average and a reduction in infection rates.”PATIENT COMPLAINTS BY HEALTH BOARDSAbertawe Bro Morgannwg2009: 2982010: 4152011: 6162012: 7912013: 858Total: 2978Rise between 2009 and 2013: 188%Aneurin Bevan2008-09: 6172009-10: 605 2010-11: 8152011-12: 8682012-13: 9652013-14: 964Total: 4834Rise between 2008-09 and 2013-14: 56% Betsi Cadwaladr2011-12: 1330*2012-13: 1594*2013-14: 1577*Total: 4501Rise between 2011-12 and 2013-14: 19%Cardiff & Vale2008-09: 8782009-10: 8592010-11: 7722011-12: 11842012-13: 18832013: 1671 (information supplied up to 26/03/14) Total: 7247Rise between 2008-09 and 2012-13: 114%Cwm Taf2009-10: 166*2010-11: 263*2011-12: 647*2012-13: 637*2013-14: 551*Total: 2264Rise between 2009-10 and 2013-14: 231%Hywel Dda2008-09: 7012009-10: 11252010-11: 11002011-12: 10422012-13: 9562013-14: 741 (up to 28/2/14)Total: 5665Rise between 2008-09 and 2013-14: 5%Powys (both formal and informal complaints)2008-09: 2822009-10: 2512010-11: 2052011-12: 2082012-13: 2362013-14: Not providedTotal: 1009Rise between 2008-09 and 2012-13: -16.3%*The numbers in some categories have not been included because health boards have only said the number of complaints were between 0-5.