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South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

PA­TIENT safety and dig­nity could be com­pro­mised if pa­tients con­tinue to be treated in non-clin­i­cal ar­eas of hos­pi­tals like pa­tient cor­ri­dors, in­spec­tors have warned.

Health­care In­spec­torate Wales (HIW) vis­ited 27 wards at 20 NHS hos­pi­tals in 2016-17 to find out if safe, ef­fec­tive care was be­ing pro­vided.

De­spite the “very real chal­lenges” fac­ing health boards and acute hos­pi­tals, and the com­plex­ity of how ser­vices are de­liv­ered, in­spec­tors said most pa­tients sur­veyed had pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ences.

They said they found plenty of ex­am­ples of good pa­tient-cen­tred care be­ing pro­vided by “committed staff” and noted strong lead­er­ship at man­age­ment level.

But there were sev­eral ar­eas where in­spec­tors felt “im­me­di­ate im­prove­ment” was needed. One of their main con­cerns was the fact some pa­tients in A&E units needed to be cared for in cor­ri­dors or other non-clin­i­cal parts of the ward due to high de­mands.

The re­port states: “A num­ber of the im­prove­ments iden­ti­fied re­gard­ing the pro­vi­sion of dig­ni­fied care re­lated to emer­gency de­part­ments.

“This was due to the need for bet­ter ‘flow’ and mon­i­tor­ing of pa­tients. Specif­i­cally, health boards were re­quired to make im­prove­ments to such ser­vices to pre­vent the need for pa­tients to re­ceive care on trol­leys in cor­ri­dors and other ar­eas away from des­ig­nated cu­bi­cles, or as­sess­ment and treat­ment ar­eas.”

In­spec­tors also said pa­tient iden­ti­fi­ca­tion wrist­bands were not al­ways used, which could have led to med­i­ca­tion er­rors.

And they con­cluded some NHS staff lacked un­der­stand­ing of the Men­tal Ca­pac­ity Act (2005) which meant pa­tients’ hu­man rights were not al­ways up­held.

“We also found that the pro­vi­sion of bilin­gual in­for­ma­tion and the abil­ity of pa­tients to dis­cuss their health needs in Welsh was in­con­sis­tent across health boards,” the re­port states.

In re­sponse, a Welsh Gov­ern­ment spokesman said:“We wel­come HIW’s re­port which shows our hard­work­ing NHS staff are de­liv­er­ing safe and ef­fec­tive care to pa­tients and their fam­i­lies.

“How­ever, there is still room for im­prove­ment, and we ex­pect NHS or­gan­i­sa­tions to take quick and ro­bust ac­tion to ad­dress HIW’s findings.”

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