Inquiry into Ely Hospital


In 1967, a nursing assistant employed at Ely Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Cardiff, made allegations to the News of the World newspaper about:

  • inhumane and threatening behaviour by six staff members towards four patients
  • mistreatment of patients by staff more generally
  • lack of care and indifference on the part of senior staff to complaints.

An inquiry committee was established to consider the allegations and, unlike the 1968 inquiries into poor care at other hospitals, the allegations at Ely were found to have substance.

Recommendations of the report

In addition to recommendations specific to Ely Hospital, the report recommended that the system for investigating complaints should be reviewed, and that the establishment of an independent inspectorate should be considered, stating that:

‘There is a clear need for some system of inspection of a hospital like Ely, which will ensure that those responsible for its management are made aware of what needs to be done to bring it up to the desired standards.’


Department of Health and Social Security.
Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Allegations of Ill – Treatment of Patients and other irregularities at the Ely Hospital, Cardiff.
DHSS; 1969.