Covid: Apology to Royal Gwent Hospital outbreak patient

Covid: Apology to Royal Gwent Hospital outbreak patient

A cancer patient has claimed poor infection control at the Royal Gwent Hospital meant he and three fellow patients caught coronavirus.

Jim Pook is one of 69 cases linked to an outbreak at the Newport hospital which started six days ago.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) said 53 patients and 16 staff had been affected on seven wards since 3 December.

The health board has apologised to Mr Pook and his family.

Mr Pook, from Newbridge, was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital in mid-November after collapsing at home. He was later diagnosed with advanced cancer.

The 77-year-old tested positive for coronavirus three weeks later after, he claimed, being in the same bay as a patient who already had the virus.

“They put a Covid patient in with us from a Covid ward. He was there for three days, coughing and coughing and coughing,” said Mr Pook.

“There were six of us in there. One man signed out on his own accord [but] three out of the four that was left had Covid. We were absolutely mad.

“They then tried to get us to go home and said we can self-isolate in your own bedroom or something or other. I said, ‘what? Me going home with my kids and putting them at risk. You’re having a joke.'”

The health board said details of deaths linked to outbreaks at the Royal Gwent, since one was initially revealed in mid-October, was not accessible.

The Pook family is one of several families that BBC Wales has spoken to who have raised concerns about infection control and communication within the hospital.

“The nurses weren’t wearing nothing,” said Mr Pook, on what infection control measure there was.

“When they come to me, I made them wash their hands cause they went round the others first – they didn’t wash their hands when they went round the other boys.

“Everybody was using the same things. It was obvious to us it [Covid] was going to go through it like wildfire.”

ABUHB said it took such complaints “very seriously”.

“The hospital is under significant pressure but the protection of patients and staff is an absolute priority,” said a spokesperson.

“We would like to apologise to Mr Pook and his family, and other patients, for the distress caused and reiterate we are rapidly reviewing what happened.”

The most serious coronavirus hospital outbreak in Wales is at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, where 85 people linked to the outbreak have died.

In north-east Wales, a number of families said they want answers after seeing loved ones contract coronavirus after being admitted to Wrexham’s Maelor Hospital for non-Covid-related treatments.

They claim the hospital failed to properly isolate them from other patients who already had the virus.

North Wales Conservative member of the Senedd, Mark Isherwood, asked Health Minister Vaughan Gething last week to respond to concerns that Covid and non-Covid patients have been placed on wards together at the hospital.

He said he had been contacted by a constituent who’s father contracted Covid-19 within the hospital.

Mr Isherwood said: “How do you respond to the son, who asked: ‘Why would you place an elderly man with orthopaedic issues on a Ward with known Covid-19 patents?’

“And why, despite the front-line staff performing miracles, the back room at Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board… still cannot control cross contamination, health and hygiene, but also the safety and management of patients within their safe keeping?”

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it is doing all it can to prevent inpatients contracting Covid-19 in hospital.

Debra Hickman, acting executive director of nursing and midwifery, said “all appropriate” infection prevention measures are in place and are kept under review.

She added: “All patients admitted into our hospitals are screened for Covid-19. Until their test result has been returned, they are cared for in designated assessment areas, where all infection prevention measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission.”

Leave a Reply