Cwm Taf staff sickness leave “only the beginning of long-term staffing problems”

The Welsh Conservatives are warning the health board’s sickness absence amongst midwives running at 11% is only a symptom of institutional management problems, and will directly affect recruitment.

Even the health board’s chief executive Allison Williams has herself taken sick leave.

The BBC reports that despite the majority of mothers reporting very good experiences, poor feedback since April has included:

  • "Midwife had a very abusive manner and reduced a patient to tears - formal complaint being submitted"
  • "Patients overheard midwifes talking derogatorily about each other"
  • "Staff very loud both day and night - no consideration or compassion shown for those patient needing rest and sleep"
  • Delays in receiving medication and patient notes and drug charts often going missing

Welsh Conservative and Shadow Health Minister Angela Burns AM, said:

“Midwives are having to operate in an intolerable atmosphere and deserve a better environment in which to work. This terrible situation will only make things worse for Cwm Taf who desperately need to improve their maternity department.

“What kind of advert does this present to dedicated and budding midwives when the health board wants to recruit? The health board management will need to put in the shift of their lives in improving their own performance so that people will want to work for it.

“Ultimately, the blame must lie at the door of Welsh Labour’s health minister who has seen services deteriorate across our country, but is the first to abdicate responsibility. Nothing can and nothing will change so long as he stays in post.

“This is only the beginning of long-term staffing problems.”