Following recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in four Welsh hospitals (Royal Glamorgan, Princess of Wales, Wrexham Maelor and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd), Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Welsh Government to improve safeguards at Welsh hospitals.
Figures in a study seen by the Welsh Liberal Democrats show that nearly 28.6% of cremations of people who had died from COVID-19 at Thornhill Crematorium in Cardiff between 6 April and 30 May were of individuals who had caught the virus in hospital. The same study suggests that deaths from infections caught in hospital had previously been expected to only account for between 5% and 20% of all deaths from COVID-19.
Rodney Berman, lead Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd candidate for South Wales Central, said:
“These figures are quite alarming. I am deeply concerned that not enough safeguards have been put in place at Welsh hospitals to minimise infections from COVID-19. The Welsh Government should urgently commit to undertake an assessment to see if enough safeguards are in place.
“Patients who are admitted to hospital, often with pre existing medical conditions, are at a serious risk of contracting COVID-19.
“Welsh NHS health boards need to understand how many people, especially the vulnerable and elderly, are at risk and take immediate action to mitigate this virus spreading further.
“The Welsh NHS is doing an incredible job during a very difficult period, but based on these figures from April and confirmation of more hospital outbreaks, an urgent assessment of clinical safety needs to be undertaken as we approach winter.”
Notes to editors:
- The study referred to is available online here. The study analysed the death certificates from the 752 cremations at Cardiff's Thornhill Crematorium between 6 April and 30 May 2020.