Rotherham Hospital criticised over hygiene and safeguarding after check-up by health watchdog

Rotherham Hospital criticised over hygiene and safeguarding after check-up by health watchdog

By Jill Theobald | 14/06/2022

Rotherham Hospital criticised over hygiene and safeguarding after check-up by health watchdog


ROTHERHAM Hospital has been issued with a list of enforcement actions — including better record-keeping for patients waiting in A&E and improved infection control processes — after a visit from the health watchdog.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission highlighted that the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre “wasn’t always clean” and staff didn’t “consistently” wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

The CQC revisited Rotherham General Hospital on two days in March to assess whether improvements had been made since its last inspection last June, when it was rated as “requires improvement”.

They found on a visit to the Urgent and Emergency Care Centre that there was “still work to be done to ensure the service meets the standards of care that people have a right to expect”.

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, which oversees the hospital, had failed to show that changes to ensure oversight of patients, including those waiting for care, was “fully embedded”.

Inspectors also noted: “Staff still did not always know how to report abuse and not all staff had completed training”.

Patients in waiting areas “were encouraged to escalate to staff if they became more unwell”, but told the CQC staff were not “consistently visible”.

A new “intentional rounding’” policy had been introduced — where staff carry out regular patient checks at set intervals — but the CQC spoke to people experiencing long waits, and found it had not been used in four cases.

“Multiple members of staff across all roles and grades” were not using PPE appropriately, while hand hygiene audits revealed only two-thirds of employees (66 per cent) were complying.

Sarah Dronsfield, head of hospital inspection at the CQC, said while “some improvements” had been made, there were still “areas of concern”.

“We found staff didn’t always assess or manage the risks to patients’ physical or mental health,” she said.

“Also, the trust didn’t ensure all patients had access to a call bell, or make sure they were responded to quickly when patients needed support.

“Equipment and premises weren’t always clean and PPE wasn’t consistently used to manage the risk of infection.

“However, patients’ dignity and privacy was respected and critical medicines were being given when required.

“We will continue to monitor the hospital to ensure the necessary improvements are made.”

Improvements ordered included keeping a record of all patients in the waiting area, all staff following infection prevention and control measures, and escalating safeguarding concerns appropriately.

There should be new “timely and effective” safeguarding processes and a new system for completing risk assessments, the watchdog said.

A trust spokesperson said inspectors had highlighted improvements made since previous check-ups.

“The report also highlights a number of areas where further improvements are required,” they said.

“In response, we are continuing to follow through on our action plans and embed changes to ensure our patients receive high quality care.

“As a trust, we welcome the findings of this report and we will use the learning from the CQC to continue to develop and grow our services to meet the needs of our patients, building on the improvements we have already made.”