18 January 2018 | Comment | Article by Alan Collins
The Ockenden report examining "institutional abuse" at Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital is due to be published in March 2018.
News reports late in 2017 said that the number of complaints concerning abuse at the hospital had quadrupled to 108.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was put in special measures after a report into the Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire in 2013. The ward for elderly people with mental health issues was then closed.
A BBC report said that inspectors have spoken to 86 members of staff and reviewed more than 9,400 documents into the mental health ward.
Two reports - one authored by the Health and Social Care Advisory Service (HASCAS) and one by health expert Donna Ockenden, have looked into the issue.
These cases are very difficult to investigate because the patients are likely to have been under a disability at the time and so there may be communication and appreciation issues. Unravelling what happened is often dependent on staff and family members being able to give insightful accounts. There have been cases which have been successfully investigated and pursued, where for example hospital cleaners observed abuse and reported it.
At Hugh James we have successfully pursued cases where the patient has been so disabled they were unable to communicate, but through the assistance of family members we have been able to piece together the evidence to prove sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and obtain compensation.
Compensation is very important in these cases because the patient will often need additional help and treatment as a result of the abuse, and this may have to be accessed privately.
If you or a family member were abused whilst at Glan Clwyd please contact us.