Royal Gwent Hospital wards hit by staffing problems
GWENT’s health board has been told to ensure patient care is not hit by short staffing after spot inspections found a litany of problems on two hospital wards.
A report by the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) identified problems with low staff, record keeping, day-today care and patients and relatives being kept informed among other issues on two wards at Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital.
The HIW called on the Aneurin Bevan Health Board to “review its current staffing levels to ensure that patient care is not regularly compromised due to short staffing”.
Plaid Gwent AM Jocelyn Davies expressed worries that future reports could be worse, but the health board said an action plan was developed to cover the report’s 38 recommendations.
The HIW inspected elderly care ward B3 and stroke rehabilitation ward B6 in February 2012.
The dignity and essential care inspection looks at the way a patient’s dignity is maintained on a hospital ward, as well as the nursing care a patient receives.
On B3, inspectors said the ward appeared calm, but added “there was a low number of staff on duty on the night shift, given the dependency of patients”.
Inspectors found no evidence of a formal system or process to gather and record information that could be used to help the patient regain independence.
Two patients told inspectors that staff on the ward had not talked to them about their condition or helped them to understand it.
One patient had been in bed for four weeks despite her notes saying she could be hoisted out of bed.
Her notes stated she was ‘not for rehabilitation’ and was ‘bedbound’, but this hadn’t been communicated with her relatives.
Two patients that were meant to be assessed for pressure sores every two days hadn’t had them done for at least seven.
Another hadn’t had her hair washed for four weeks. The report said there was no stimulating activities on the ward.
Inspectors found a high quality of care on ward B6, but said the high dependency for patients on the ward was too high for current staffing levels.
Inspectors reported a large amount of clutter in the ward. Staff said it was moving in April, but the report said the state of the ward could present a risk of infection.
Ms Davies, AM for South Wales East, said she was especially worried that inspectors could not find evidence of formal procedures to deliver individual patient-centre care.
She added: “Staff are stretched too far in our hospitals and further cutbacks can only lead to further strains and increased pressure on our health workers.
“If this trend continues then sadly we could see a further deterioration in future reports.”
Action plan drawn up
ANEURIN Bevan Health Board said it welcomed the recommendations and said an action plan had been drawn up to address them.
Since February 2012 the two wards have put in place a number of initiatives, and processes are in place to ensure patients needs are frequently met.
As a result of the report, the health board moved the stroke ward to a different location.
A spokeswoman said: “Since the inspection, the health board has continued to seek the views of our patients and has worked closely with the Community Health Council to ensure that the care we deliver for patients is maintained and reviewed.