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Damning report on safety at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath
A drainpipe stuck in a bucket was used to prop up a ceiling in a Sussex hospital, a damning new report reveals.
The results of the spot inspection at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath by the team from the Care Quality Commission is due to be published today, detailing serious concerns about patient safety.
The hospital, run by the Brighton and Sussex University HospitalsNHS Trust, had failed a key national standard on safety and suitability of the premises.
Inspectors at the Princess Royal found staff were using an area containing electric circuits and the hospital’s computer and telecommunications system as a rest room.
A large area of the ceiling in another part of the hospital, which includes the Hurstwood Park Neurosciences Centre, which deals with serious head injuries, was held together with tape.
Missing ceiling tiles also exposed a roof area, pipe work and electrical cabling.
The report said the hospital had failed to ensure the premises had been adequately maintained, particularly in corridor areas linking the main hospital to the neurosciences department. This was putting people at risk of injury.
The report also criticised security around the storage of hazardous clinical waste.
The commission said although the impact of the failings would have been “minor”, patients would have “experienced poor care that had an impact on their health, safety or welfare or there was a risk of this happening”.
It said: “When we inspected the main compound for the storage of clinical waste that was awaiting collection we found 29 large bins accessible to the general public.
“We were able to walk freely into and around the compound without being challenged and when we sampled the security of each individual bin we found that only three were locked.”
The area where the drainpipe was being used to prop up the ceiling had not been cordoned off to ensure the safety of the public.
The bin being used to support the drainpipe also contained food and building waste.
The report said: “Throughout the hospital we found examples of equipment being inappropriately stored or left in corridors and public thoroughfares.
“For example in one public corridor we found a store cupboard with the door jammed open. This cupboard contained an assortment of rubbish including a largewooden pallet, dirty bed linen, drink cans and a broken bedrail.”
The trust has reported back to the CQC to set out what action it has taken to ensure it meets standards.
The hospital was also checked for staffing levels, cleanliness and infection control and was found to be meeting these standards during the unannounced visit in May.
Aspokesmansaid: “The safety and security of our premises is a priority for the trust but the upkeep of a large hospital site is a constant challenge particularly in extremely old buildings like Hurstwood Park.
“We have worked hard to resolve all the issues raised by the CQC.
“To ensure standards are maintained, and potential issues and problems are identified and dealt with quickly, senior clinical and managerial staff undertake weekly walkabouts with our estates teams.”
A spokesman for the Patient Action Group in Sussex said: “This is a concerning report which shows patients may have been put at risk..”
The CQC will carry out a follow-up inspection at a later date.
CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR ROYAL SUSSEX
The Royal Sussex County Hospital, run by the same trust, was found to meet standards of cleanliness and
infection control and safety and suitability of premises during a spot inspection also released today by the
Care Quality Commission.
The reportv said: “On the day of our inspection we found that the hospital was clean and procedures were in place to prevent and control the spread of infections.
“We spoke with many patients who were generally very positive about the standards of cleanliness.
“Most commented that they had observed staff wash their hands frequently, and made use of gloves and aprons when necessary."
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