A leading North Wales Tory politician has criticised the NHS in Wales for the way it treated her 91-year-old father in the last months of his life.

Janet Finch-Saunders told a coroner : "I was not even allowed the dignity of being with my Dad when he was physically dying."

However coroner John Gittins said at the end of an inquest which lasted more than five hours at Ruthin on Friday that the treatment of Jack Finch, a former mayor of Llandudno, had been "exemplary".

Mrs Finch-Saunders had been asked by the coroner :" Do you think he got different care and treatment because of his age?"

"Yes," the Welsh Assembly Member for Aberconwy replied.

Sometimes weeping, she claimed that she and her daughter were asked to leave the room while resuscitation took place following an operation on his leg.

There was a chink in the curtains and she was sure that no chest compression had taken place, despite being told that it had.

Mr Finch had died in Glan Clwyd Hospital in April last year.

Attending the inquest with husband Gareth and brother John, his daughter described him as humorous and caring and said she wanted to give thanks "for many many years of excellent care my father received."

She stressed; "We are not looking for blame."

Mrs Finch-Saunders told the coroner the family had received some answers but were awaiting others. There had been a lack of communication.

Her father had two knee replacements in each leg but in October 2015 he had a fall in the garden and a compound fracture of the tibia after which the regime changed. She listed a number of complaints about his treatment afterwards and the lack of communication.

Asked by the coroner what was the reason for her perceived inadequacy of treatment she replied that on the night of the operation "everyone was rushed off their feet" and she believed there were also resource issues. One doctor had been on duty for 24 hours.

Answering further questions from Mr Gittins she maintained her father "was badly let down."

She believed lessons had not been learned and there had been a fundamental failure by the Welsh Government. "We have a health board in special measures and we are not seeing improvements we should see. I think the Welsh Government have things to answer for generally. As for my Dad I feel he was let down.

The inquest heard that the cause of death was heart failure following an operation on a septic knee.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Bala Ramesh said Mr Finch had a remarkable mental capacity for a man of his age. He had joked when asked about pain "the pain is in my wallet."

Mr Ramesh recalled : "It was a significant operation and all went well."

Dr Gerallt Owen, a geriatrician at Glan Clwyd, said Mr Finch had a thyroid problem, a dry cough and a heart condition on admission. The decision about whether he was fit for surgery would be a shared responsibility.

"I was fairly satisfied with Mr Finch's progress," he said. "I was optimistic and felt he wouldn't have problems with the operation." Dr Owen had been surprised by what had happened.

"He was a bright, jovial and positive man."

Asked by Mr Gittins whether there would be a deficiency in treatment because of his age Dr Owen said: "I like to think not. I felt we tried our best for him. Colleagues from other departments were very engaged."

Anaesthetist Dr Emma Hosking , who is also medical director at the hospital, said Mr Finch was bright and communicative "and I didn't doubt his capacity to make his own decisions."

During the operation he did not complain about pain "but about the noise of banging" as the procedure was carried out.

Dr Hosking told the coroner: "I don't think age came into it at all, he wa afforded a high level of care."

The hospital had a high level of consultative input and decisions were not delegated to junior staff. Like other NHS organisations they didn't have resources and staff to do everything they wanted to do but Mr Finch had been given the very best care.

"Most consultants work on a 24-hour on call pattern - It's very unusual to be up all night," she said.

Dr Ramakrishnan Shobha, a consultant in critical care, said any limitation of treatment was not because of age but owing to him becoming critically ill, in particular in regard to blood pressure. She said drugs had been infused, oxygen given and compressions tried while trying to resuscitate Mr

Finch. It had been decided "it would be undignified to continue".

Recording a conclusion that Mr Finch died as a result of an accident, Mr Gittins said the operation on a septic knee had resulted in his heart "giving out." The procedure had resulted in a final straw for him.

Mr Gittins believed the care Mr Finch received was exemplary. However he recognised that from the family's perspective lines of communication which existed between professionals and families could be woefully lacking when they were working under pressure. "That is something I would love to see addressed more fully," he said.

After the inquest Mrs Finch-Saunders said : "The lack of communication and trauma will live with me for a long time."

Later Gary Doherty, chief executive of the Betsi Cadwaladr health board said: "Once again we would like to offer our sympathies to Mr Finch's family. As the coroner stated, Mr Finch sadly died shortly after surgery in April 2017, but the care he received was exemplary."